A Sept. 6 fundraiser for Adopt A Soldier-Door County raised enough money to help cover the shipping for more than 400 care packages to Door and Kewaunee County troops around the world.

The day was kicked off with an all-you-can-eat breakfast sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department. Then at Martin Park, Joe Heilman and Wayne Kleist from AMVETS Post 51 in Sturgeon Bay started the afternoon’s events by presenting the colors, followed by the singing of the National Anthem, led by Sara Lautenbach. Following that, there were a number of raffle and silent auction prizes, fresh-grilled brats, hamburgers and hot dog with live music by Last Man Standing and Copper Box.

Each year, Adopt A Soldier-Door County sends more than 1,000 care packages to our troops, each costing about $20 in shipping fees. Every box is filled with a wide assortment of items that are donated by the community, including private individuals and local businesses.

Andrew Sanchez, a local soldier who serves in the U.S. Air Force and is one of the troops receiving care packages regularly, recently said, “When you feel like no one’s really there to look out for you, no one’s really remembering you, you get these packages and you know all the work that’s been put into this, all the people back home that actually are thinking about you when they make these packages.”

Founding member Nancy Hutchinson began the group in 2008 for a young man who was then a student at Sevastopol High School and had joined the Marines. Matt Olson was friend with one of Nancy’s sons and like a third son to the family. They wanted him to know how much they loved him and appreciated all that he was doing for not only our community but for our country.

They began sending him regular “care packages” of wished-for and needed items, and from that simple beginning, Adopt A Soldier-Door County was born. As others learned what she was doing, the word spread and began to include many other men and women from the county.

Now the organization can use some extra support from the community. They need people to help staff Adopt A Soldier tables at Harvest Fest this Saturday in Sturgeon Bay, and Oct. 13-15 at the Sister Bay Fall Fest. Volunteers would be passing out brochures and explaining the basics of the program, and will be fully trained before the events. Contact founder Nancy Hutchinson at 414-333-6648.

Local sponsors of Adopt a Soldier include Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Tadych’s Econo Foods, Wienke’s Market, Hatco, Door County Medical Center, Jim Olson Motors, Main Street Market, Green Bay Packers, Bearded Heart Coffee, O’Meara’s Irish House, Jacksonport Cottage, Maxwell’s House, McKeefry & Yeoman’s, Spot, Keltgen Family Chiropractic, Twisted Tree at the Pharm, Wilkins & Olander, Westwood Shores & Orchard Golf, Paul Mickelson, Mary Tepaske, Mark Oleck, Lavine’s Ice Company, Piggly Wiggly, Therma-Tron-X, Sister Bay Lions Club, Rouer’s Grand Slam, Country View Farm, Marine Travelift, Milwaukee Bucks, Stella Maris Parish, Precision Machine, Sister Bay Lions Club, Nicolet Bank, Shuttlelift, Mary Biggs, Tree & Steve Delarwelle, Door County Peninsula Winery, Stodola’s IGA, Shopko, Thrivent Financial, Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Gamblers, Milwakee Admirals, Door County Daily News, Door County Advocate, Old Bolts Car Club, The Dog House, Door County Coffee and Tea, GNC, and Walmart.

Many national businesses also provide ongoing support, including Hershey’s, Jack Link’s, SK Energy, Smarties, 5 Hour Energy, Albanese Confectionery, Eternal Energy, Jelly Belly,GoGo Squeez, Walt Disney World, Con-way Freight, American Flags Express, Carmex, Earthborn, Allivet, Survival Straps, Home Depot, The Adair Group, Palmer’s, and more.

For more information, see their Facebook page “AdoptASoldierDoorCounty” or website, AdoptASoldierDC.com. They are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.