WEIRTON - The Tri-State Marine Corps Club Auxiliary held its monthly meeting at the Serbian American Cultural Center on Colliers Way with President Joan Spano calling the meeting to order and presiding over the business session.
She welcomed auxiliary member Tiffanie Handley after a long absence. Chaplain Mary Ann Smith led devotions, reading from Matthew 6:6; offered the invocation, including special prayers for Maxine Ragan, Ray Zirkle, James Pitzer, Joan Spano, Wanda Perrone, Betty Gianni, Sammy Spano, Robert Davidson, Jim Hobart, Louie Spano, Randy Tassey, Dan Lyons, Toni Anderson, Augie Ragan and Brandie Shonkwiler. Second Vice President Elizabeth Shipe led the Pledge of Allegiance; Vice President Darlene Kemp called roll; Maxine Ragan gave the treasurer's report; Recording Secretary Carol Lyons read the September meeting minutes, which were approved as read, and a thank-you note from Duke Horstemeyer, the auxiliary's adopted veteran. Shirley Brecht gave the sunshine report in the absence of Sunshine Chair Mary Ann Elliott. Get-well cards were sent to James Pitzer, Joan Spano, Paul Rosnick, Jacek Handley, Daniel Jones, Donald Toothman, John White, Carol Mack and Ray Zirkle. The group signed get-well cards for Ray Zirkle and James Pitzer. President Joan Spano sent 13 birthday cards to Barboursville Veterans Home residents in October.
Boatsie's Boxes contacted the group about providing Christmas stockings for active duty military members over the Christmas holiday. The ninth annual Operation Christmas Stocking is being organized, and the group is soliciting donations of filled stockings and stocking-fillers from area residents and groups. The stockings can be dropped off at the Spano home at 3640 Orchard St., Weirton, or call Marcy Spano at (304) 748-3107 to arrange pick-up. Stockings, items and filled stocking must be dropped off by Nov. 7. Those making a donation may include a Christmas card for the service member who receives their gift. The auxiliary frequently receives letters, photos or emails from service members who have received the stockings.
FOR THE TROOPS — Gail 'Boatsie' Van Vranken of Boatsie’s Boxes, left, and Joan Spano, Tri-State Marine Corps Club Auxiliary president, right, pose with stockings the women hope to fill with small gifts to be sent to active duty troops in the Middle East. Area residents and groups wanting to donate stocking-fillers, stockings, filled stockings and Christmas cards toward the effort are encouraged to coordinate with the auxiliary, which will stuff stockings and deliver them to Boatsie’s Boxes by calling Spano at (304) 748-3107 before Nov. 7. -- Contributed
"To see their faces when they get these stockings - it is just so overwhelming," said Marcy Spano.
Stocking-fillers include microwaveable soups and dinners, energy drinks, saline eye and nose drops or sprays, body wash and soap, deodorant, shaving cream and razors, sunblock SPF 50 or higher, lip balm, hand sanitizer, foot powder, socks and underwear, pain relievers, small boxes of powdered laundry detergent, heavy duty shower slippers, boxes of greeting cards, stationary and pens, AA and AAA batteries, cookies, crackers, gummy candy, chocolate, Pringles potato chips, Munch and Crunch, Tootsie Pops, gum, nuts, Ramen Noodles, beef jerky, feminine care products, current magazines and puzzle books, DVDs, CDs, CD players, games of all kinds, basketballs, baseballs and baseball gloves, softballs and softball gloves, volleyballs and nets, travel- and regular-size toiletries, coffee creamer, coffee, sleep shades, black fleece gloves without logos, Navy-style black watch hats without logos, long-sleeve black T-shirts, "to-go" First Aid kits, battery-operated alarm clocks, nail kits, eyeglass repair kits, Ben-Gay patches, tissues and either domestic or global AT&T prepaid phone cards with a minimum of 120 minutes.
The group sent a thank-you card to Betty Gianni for a donation of Christmas cards to be sent to active duty troops. Members Maxine Ragan, LaVonne Balint, Tina Spano and Marcy Spano addressed 900 Christmas cards, which were given to Boatsie's Boxes to be sent to active duty troops. The group also addressed 87 cards for Tri-State Marine Corps Club members and another 87 for Barboursville Veterans Home residents. The group also hopes to send cards to local veterans when they obtain the addresses.
Darlene Kemp gave a report on Toys for Tots, and Shirley Brecht asked each member to give a donation for the Thanksgiving drawing for the local Marine Corps Birthday Ball, which will be held Nov. 10 at the Serbian American Cultural Center. Joan and Marcy Spano will donate a tray of cookies for the event.
Marcy Spano will place a wreath on behalf of the auxiliary on Veterans Day at 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Weirton Community Center. Mary Arlia won the 50/50 drawing. Maxine Ragan and Joan Spano served refreshments, and Carol Lyons will serve refreshments at the November meeting.
The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Serbian American Cultural Center.