Hundreds of students in Genoa schools will have at least one soldier in mind when they bring food and supplies to Friday night’s (Sept. 28) football game against Otsego.
Austin Dickinson, a Genoa High School graduate, is stationed in Qatar for a year’s tour as a member of the Military Police Unit in Toledo. He and his peers are miles away from home embroiled in a sea of unrest in an effort to preserve national security.
So Friday’s Pack a Pickup for a Soldier challenge undertaken by the area’s Girl Scouts and Boys Scouts has a truly personal meaning, says Genoa Athletic Director Mike Thomas.
Students and Comets football fans are being asked to bring supplies to the game that will be shipped to the Military Police Unit, which has been adopted by the Girl Scouts, as well as the Walbridge Unit of the Ohio National Guard, which is supported by the Boy Scouts.
Items sought include pre-packed cookies, snack foods, beef jerky, candy, hygiene item, magazines, phone cards, batteries, holiday decorations, and coffee (no decaffeinated).
The local Girls Scouts leader is Kim Richards, a teacher at the high school.
Collection bins have also been set up among the three school buildings on the campus on Genoa-Clay Center Road. They will remain there a few days after the game for collections that stream in afterward, Thomas said.
At the schools, the collection culminating at the game has become sort of a battle of the boys against the girls, Thomas explained.
The friendly rivalry is just another way to get the kids engaged while drumming up support for the collection.
Even the morning announcements at the high school contain a reminder to bring in supplies to help Richards and her girls “beat the boys” while supporting American heroes abroad.
The event is fun thing but also a serious reminder that Americans, from old to young, can help keep troops spirits up even through small gestures like this, Thomas explained.
Officials of the National Guard Unit have asked Genoa administrators to send along an American flag with the shipment. The Guardsmen will fly the flag where they are stationed and then send it back to Genoa schools where it will be displayed, Thomas said.
The collection campaign is taking place in a variety of ways among Girls Scout units in the region.
In Oak Harbor, Girl Scouts are rounding up Pack a Pickup supplies that will be donated to the BCS food bank located at St. Paul’s Church.
Currently, collection bins are stationed at the Commodore Perry Credit Union and Oak Harbor Community Market.
The big collection though takes place Oct. 5, at the Homecoming game at Oak Harbor High School. That Girl Scouts unit is under the direction of Nicole Nissen.