DIXFIELD — Three American Legion officers with the Swasey-Torrey Unit 100 Auxiliary filled 30 handmade Christmas stockings Thursday night with goodies for Marines in Afghanistan.

The colorful stockings were filled with Sudoku and crossword puzzle magazines, lip balm, lotions, colored pencils, candy, meat and cheese sticks and hand and leg warmers donated by Maine American Legion auxiliaries, Unit 100 President Stephanie Wilson of Rumford said.

She and treasurer Michelle Burgess of Mexico and secretary Gloria Patneaude of Roxbury also added cards signed by Dixfield auxiliary members.

“We went out today and bought coloring books for them,” Wilson said. To cover postage, the auxiliary held a gas raffle.

The stockings were handmade by Maine American Legion auxiliaries and are being sent Monday, Nov. 25, to 30 Marines with Batallion Landing Team Unit 16059 of the 1st Batallion, 4th Marines, in Afghanistan. She said the unit is a weapons company.

The Operation Santa USMC endeavor is a holiday outreach program of the Marine Corps Family Foundation of Salem, Ore., Wilson said.


She said they took on the task of getting the stockings filled and mailed early because they will be sent to California first. From there, she said she was told who knows when they will be sent to deployed troops.

“It could be at least a month,” Wilson said. “It’s first come, first served on military planes.”

They weren’t allowed to send cookies or fruit, and will have to send the DVDs and larger items separately. Operation Santa USMC also sent them snazzy toothbrushes to put in the stockings, complete with its logo on the brushes. The three women also made sure each stocking had a large candy cane.

“It can’t be Christmas without candy canes,” Wilson said.

In other news, she said a Thanksgiving Day dinner with all the fixings will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Legion hall. The cost is $5.

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