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Golden Age Center seniors cut Coups for Troops

Sat, Mar 9th 2019 06:55 am
Elizabeth Wedrychowicz, left, and Marge Lebrenz cut coupons for military personnel Wednesday at the Grand Island Golden Age Center. They were joined at their table by Ruth Landel, below, and Catherine Mancuso. (Photos by Larry Austin)
Elizabeth Wedrychowicz, left, and Marge Lebrenz cut coupons for military personnel Wednesday at the Grand Island Golden Age Center. They were joined at their table by Ruth Landel, below, and Catherine Mancuso. (Photos by Larry Austin)

By Larry Austin

Island Dispatch Editor

Two anonymous members of the American armed forces somewhere overseas are the beneficiaries of the work of Grand Island pennysavers.

Members of the Grand Island Golden Age Center are sending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars overseas by cutting coupons and mailing them to military personnel.

The seniors at the Golden Age Center take part in a program called Coups for Troops, explained Carrie Mesmer, recreation leader at the Golden Age Center. Mesmer said two female soldiers stationed overseas receive and use the coupons at their bases.

Mesmer said between 10 and 15 people at the Golden Age Center participate once a week as part of a planned program. “But we also do it if there’s some downtime,” she said. The seniors love doing it, she said. “Anything as a service to the community, they’re all for it.”

Mesmer estimates at least 1,000 individual coupons a month go to each soldier.

The coupons come from the seniors who bring in their own or those of their family and friends.

“So I have a cart that’s literally full of the uncut coupons,” Mesmer said.

One of the soldiers recently sent a care package to the GAC in return. Mesmer thinks the woman is stationed in the Philippines because some of the products she sent in her care package were made there, including the soldier’s favorite pancake mix.

Mesmer said the center will probably hold a pancake party using all the pancake mix from the latest care package.

Mesmer said the soldier sent the GAC a photo how she takes the GAC coupons and makes them available to all the families that live on that base.

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