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From field to front lines

Hart High School athletes, local residents make Valentine’s cards for troops

Posted: February 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Hart football players Gabriel Salcedo, left, and Erik Stafford, right, join their teammates as they make Valentine's Day cards for the troops as part of the "Hearts for Heroes" event held at the Newhall Library on Saturday. (Dan Watson/The Signal)

Valentine’s Day came early to the Newhall Library on Saturday, as local residents gathered to make cards in support of troops stationed overseas as part of the “Hearts for Heroes” project.

The local Prayer Angels for the Military group put on the event as a way to show support for members of the military, even those without direct ties to the Santa Clarita Valley, said Suzon Gerstel, the group’s president.

Saturday’s event was a cooperative effort between the Prayer Angels for the Military and Newhall’s American Legion Post 507.

Gerstel said they also plan to send similar cards to local firefighters and police officers to thank them for their service.

Gerstel estimated that anywhere from 200 to 300 cards would be made during the three-hour event.

Along with cards, attendees could sign a large banner that will be sent to troops stationed in Afghanistan.

“We want everyone to know that we appreciate them and all the work they are doing in service to our country,” Gerstel said.

In addition to members and regular volunteers of Prayer Angels for the Military, the event attracted some local officials, including city Mayor Bob Kellar, who wrote a message of support to troops on the banner.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, also attended the event.

McKeon said he has personally seen troops stationed overseas receive messages like the ones made Saturday and told attendees that their efforts are appreciated.

“This is a really wonderful thing,” McKeon said. “Thank you all for taking the time to participate.”

Football and soccer players from Hart High School also attended the event to show their support.

The event also drew in walk-in attendees who came over from visiting the Newhall Library.

One such attendee was Canyon Country resident Trina Mitchell, who made cards along with her 11-year-old daughter, Brooke.

Mitchell said it was an honor to make cards for members of the military.

“If they weren’t doing what they’re doing, we wouldn’t be enjoying all the privileges and freedoms that we do,” Mitchell said. “It’s as simple as that.”


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