High School students/cadets from area high school JROTC programs performed at the "Rolling Across America to Thank Clients, Support Troops" event Tuesday at the Great Overland Station. The event was sponsored by Wadell and Reed, a mutual fund company, and the United Service Organization (USO).
For more than 65 years, the USO has been providing care packages and other services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The Wadell and Reed company and the USO have been partners for many many years and have traveled across America raising funds for care packages. This is the Goodwill Tours' last and 71st stop, right here in Topeka. These care packages will go to servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"You can donate in any dollar amount. For every 25 dollars raised we will send a care package in their name to a service member overseas and the contents of the package are valued between 50 and 75 dollars. They're things we take for granted things like chewing gum and palying cards, readers digest material..all the things that our soldiers desperately need overseas,"says Stephen Barrett, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing for Wadell and Reed.
So far the tour has raised 400 thousand dollars which translates to nearly 16,000 care packages.
"They are everything, I know what it meant to me when I was in Vietnam..its just a little touch of home that you dont have otherwise you're in and out of the field..sometimes there's seize fire like at Christmas time you're a little uneasy when it's so quiet and when you get a little something extra it reminds you of home and touches you," says Richard Nickum, retired military veteran.