• Last modified 3526 days ago (Nov. 18, 2009)


Remembering the troops: Hillsboro business donates to military care packages

Managing editor

Hillsboro chiropractor Kodi Panzer wanted to do something for military personnel. When she heard there was a need for items to go into care packages for Marion County servicemen and women, she jumped at the chance to help.

Panzer organized a fund-raiser Nov. 10, where she offered chiropractic adjustments to her patients for $10. All proceeds then were given to American Legion Post 22 of Marion to purchase items for care packages.

During a nearly 12-hour period, 61 patients took advantage of the special. Panzer gave a check for $630 to the organization on Friday.

“This will be a tremendous benefit for our project,” Gary Chaput said. Gary and his wife, Karen, are organizers of the care package project.

When the project began, McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita provided much of the supplies for the packages. Those efforts now are directed toward homeless veterans, Chaput said.

Since then, the organization has solicited and received numerous monetary donations from local organizations as well as items for the care packages.

Currently there are 35 Marion County service personnel receiving the packages.

Items sent to troops overseas include toiletries, snacks, beef jerky, magazines, books, compact discs, local newspapers, and DVDs to watch during their down time.

“We forget that the weather in Afghanistan and Iraq is hot and dry,” Chaput said. “There is always a demand for lip balm and sunglasses.”

This time of year, care packages will include Christmas trees, stockings, and bags. For Catholic service personnel, a prayer to Father Emil Kapaun and rosaries are included.

The Chaputs are volunteers with Meals on Wheels.

“People who don’t have much are willing to give us a can of tuna or something to put in the care packages,” Gary Chaput said. “It’s just been incredible.”

“I wanted to do something special for my one-year anniversary,” Panzer said, regarding the milestone for her downtown Hillsboro business. “This was a way to give back to my patients and to the military.”

She was pleased with the response and the money raised.

“I’m still tired,” Panzer said with a laugh, “but it was well worth the effort.”

The $630 donation will provide supplies for care packages for another six months.

Donations have been received from Jean Bailey, May Hett, Charles Montgomery, Freddie and Bertha Epperson, Jerry Engler, Forrest and Joyce Smith, Marilyn Geis, Joyce Richmond, Jean Zimmerman, Marion Girl Scouts, American Legion Post 22, Marion Middle School, Marion High School National Honor Society, VFW Ladies Auxiliary of Post 6958, Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 366, Carlsons’, and American Legion Riders of Post 366.

American Legion Post 22 of Marion, American Legion Post 366 of Hillsboro, and Veterans of Foreign War Ladies Auxiliary 6958 of Marion pay postage to ship the packages.

Chaput said when supplies become depleted, someone always steps up and they are provided with supplies or money to keep the program operating.

“The good Lord has been good to us,” Chaput said.

Last modified Nov. 18, 2009