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Packages sweeten Valentine’s Day for soldiers

Elizabeth Pokorny 8 her grandmother DeannPokorny pack dog treats for eventual shipment overseas troops while volunteering VFW Post 2511 Jan.

Elizabeth Pokorny, 8, and her grandmother Deanna Pokorny pack dog treats for eventual shipment to overseas troops while volunteering at the VFW Post 2511 on Jan. 19, 2013 in Porter, Ind. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

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HOW TO HELP

Brenda Coleman is accepting valentines, cookies and dog treats through Jan. 25, when she leaves for Savannah, Ga., to have them shipped to soldiers overseas. Call her at 242-0911. For more information about the Bomber Girls or to make a financial donation to help cover the cost of mailing the packages, go to www.bombergirlslrc.com.

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Updated: February 25, 2013 12:15PM



For the past few years, several local women have been doing what they can to make Valentine’s Day a little sweeter for members of the military serving overseas by collecting and shipping homemade cookies.

This year’s packages, put together by the Bomber Girls, also include treats and other goodies for “canine heroes” — dogs helping the military. The Bomber Girls is a Savannah, Ga.-based group of women who ride motorcycles.

“The Bomber Girls are my friends; I ride a motorcycle, so that’s how I met them,” said Brenda Coleman, of Valparaiso, who started the cookie drive up here and has watched it grow.

It now encompasses folks from New Buffalo, Mich., to Rochester, about an hour south of Valparaiso, and stretches from Dyer to Wanatah.

Coleman will head to Savannah Jan. 25 to help pack cookies collected here and there in shipping boxes. This region sent along 939 dozen cookies last year, and Coleman hopes to send more than 1,000 dozen this year.

She also has the names of more than 240 soldiers from this area who will get Valentine’s Day cookie packages, which also include handmade cards.

The Bomber Girls do other projects all year, including sending out movies and microwave popcorn, but the cookie drive is the only one Coleman helps with, along with Cathy Cushway of Oak Lawn, Ill.

On Jan. 19, Coleman and several friends geared up to package the cookies for transport to Savannah at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2511, where Coleman is the ladies auxiliary chaplain.

Friends Zoe VanderVinne, 13, and Madison Stickels, 14, both students at Chesterton Middle School, helped make valentines for the troops.

“We need to let them know we appreciate their work and what they do every day,” Madison said.



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