Petzel: Trinity preschoolers send care packages to Afghanistan
By Cheryl Petzel Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org May 24, 2012 12:10PM
Staff Sgt. John LaGiglia sits with Trinity Lutheran preschoolers. | Supplied Photo
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:20AM
Greetings fellow Oak Lawnians! Trinity Lutheran Church, 9701 Brandt Ave. in Oak Lawn, is not only educating its preschoolers, but also teaching them values and the importance of giving back. Trinity recently undertook a project to send care packages to a U.S. Army troop serving in Afghanistan. Cathy Cepican, Trinity’s director, said this was their first experience sending packages to troops, though they had participated in collections.
Trinity gathered enough items to send 14 packages to two troops; one to Cepican’s nephew, Joseph Clem, who is currently serving, and the other to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John La Giglia. La Giglia is the uncle to two former Trinity preschoolers. Their mother, Julie Corsitta, is his sister and she was instrumental in providing details to Trinity as to where to send the packages. One of the things Cepican most enjoys, she said, is that former preschooler parents keep in touch, and that is how she had the details about how to get the packages to John’s troop.
“The packages contained gum, beef jerky, lip gloss and lip balm, socks, hard candies, particularly Starburst candies and mints, anything they can eat on the run, but no chocolates, because it’s 120-plus (degrees) over there,” she said.
Cepican said it can take anywhere from a week to a month for packages to be received — and even longer if the troops are out on a mission. There are even times when long-awaited packages are passed along to fellow troop members because the original troop recipients have moved on to other missions.
La Giglia, whose tour of duty is over, returned the favor by paying a surprise visit to Trinity preschoolers and staff members — it was even a surprise to Cepican. La Giglia showed up wearing his camouflage fatigues.
“The kids couldn’t stop staring at him and John was so sweet when he visited the children,” she said. “He used a map to show them where he was stationed in Afghanistan and took pictures with the children.”
As if that weren’t enough to teach about giving back, Trinity also hosted a trike-a-thon benefiting St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Cepican said 44 students ages 3 to 5 participated in the safety program.
“St. Jude is wonderful,” Cepican said. “They sent a DVD and the children receive a driver’s license and coloring book with the rules of the road.” The program focuses on driveway safety and safety towards others.
Each spring, Trinity sends children home with envelopes containing a letter about the program for their parents who can donate whatever they want, Cepican said, including the trike-a-thon program, Trinity has raised more than $11,000 for St. Jude. It teaches children the importance of not only giving back, but also the importance of helping other children who are sick. Congratulations to Trinity Lutheran Preschool and preschooler families on a job well done!.
Here are this week’s featured celebrity announcements: Happy seventh birthday to Max Zobak, from his parents, Tom and Karen, and big brother, Zach. Happy birthday to Max Gilligan, who’s turning 9, from her parents, Tim and Heather, and proud grandparents. Dane Garcia’s parents wish him a happy 12th birthday. Wayne Palaszynski’s parents wish him a happy 15th birthday, from his parents. Sweet 15th birthday wishes go out to Lauren Cappel, from her parents, Michelle and Kevin. Jacob Neubauer’s parents wish him a happy 19th birthday. Happy 21st birthday to Eric Peterson, from his parents, Sharon and John, brother, Nolan, Ella, Caribou and family. Happy 24th birthday to Danielle Erdakos from her parents, Dorothy and Max, and Nick. Happy 27th birthday to Brian Mitchel, from his parents, Mark, Kacy, Tracy, Tom and his godchild, Stacy. Happy birthday to Jeannine McFee, from her aunt, Antoinette. Melissa Furey wishes her mom, Judith, a happy birthday. Agnes and Gene Mark send birthday wishes to their daughter, Rita Mae Hoy. Happy birthday to Loretta Hansen from her sisters, Karen and Janet. Barbara Kozlarek’s family sends her birthday wishes.
Golden wedding anniversary wishes go out to Bob and Laurie Belin who are celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community. Contact me on my cell (708) 899-9544 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Until next time...