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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Passing the hat

The notion of raising money to bring Guard members home for the holidays just before their deployment to Afghanistan has caught on with at least a few people.

Over at Smugglers Notch ski area, employee Don Gandini said he put out a jar yesterday afternoon and sent an e-mail around asking co-workers to drop a dollar or so in. Within 24 hours, the take was $60, he said. He expects customers will probably contribute too. He'll send what's collected by Thanksgiving to Operation Holiday Homecoming. Gandini thought other companies might want to do the same.

At the Senate pro tem's office, meanwhile, some 60 people have phoned or e-mailed their interest in the project, which was launched Monday by Pro Tem Peter Shumlin and the Guard. One high school football team is looking to raise money to bring their soon-to-be-deployed coach home for the holidays, said Shumlin's aide, Alex Maclean.

Several readers have contacted us at the Free Press in the last day or so to see how to donate (send a check to Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation Inc. (write "Operation Holiday Homecoming" in the memo line) to P.O. Box 683, Essex Junction VT, 05453, or go online to www.supportvermontguard.org and click on "donate.").

- Terri Hallenbeck

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