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Wells students send holiday cheer to troops



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Seven participants of Mary E. Wells Middle School “Friend of Our Troops” fan mail project. Back row from left: Seventh-grader Mike Deliddo, eighth-graders Joel Martinez and Ben Santiago. Front row from left: Principal Amy Allen, seventh-grader Kim Figueroa, eighth-graders Luis Martinez, Caitlyn Deliddo, Maggie Casey and Ellie Peoples, the coordinator of the project. Adam T. Silva. (click for larger version)
December 09, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — For the fourth consecutive year, the students of Mary E. Wells Middle School placed first in the country in the "Friends of Our Troops" campaign in the middle school/junior high category. As part of the campaign students sent letters and cards to American soldiers stationed both abroad and stateside.

Wells students sent 4,250 greeting cards to more than 1,000 locations.

Southbridge's United Lens Company, Inc. helped fund the campaign by donating money that went towards shipping costs. To put Wells' large victory in perspective, Redwood Valley Middle School, the school that came in second place, submitted 1,775, which is 2475 fewer.

"Without their generosity, this program would not continue," said Ellie Peoples, coordinator of the project and a Wells eighth-grade Special Education Teacher.

The campaign is sponsored by the North Carolina-based "Friends of Our Troops Committee." When the school began participating in the program in 2002, it sent the largest amount for junior high schools in Massachusetts. By 2006, it took the national title in its category.

In the cards and letters, students thanked the soldiers for their protection and for their sacrifice of being away from their families, especially at Christmas. Two of the most prolific students, brother and sister team of Mike and Caitlyn DeLiddo, sent nearly 400 cards between them.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News

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