Updated: 12/07/2013 6:08 PM
Created: 12/07/2013 5:10 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The holiday season is coming fast, but not every deployed service member has family to send them gifts. So some Northland moms adopted some troops this year.
The handful of moms helping out call their operation Spread the Love and there was plenty to go around. More than 100 care packages were wrapped up for troops in need of support on Saturday at Campbell Lumber in Superior.
Tracy Tollers said her son is not deployed, but she heard 112 Marines and sailors in the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit were not going to get gifts this Christmas. She said it was something she had to fix.
“These are all people that are deployed that aren't getting anything from home so we're just trying to give back a little bit for everything they do for us,” Tollers said.
She said the community quickly pitched in over $2,500 to fill the care packages and get them shipped.
Rebecca Golden said her son hasn't deployed yet, but she also wanted to make sure everyone got a little love from back home.
“This kind of gives them the opportunity to get that support and know that we do care back here,” Golden said.
The boxes are filled with dozens of essentials like socks and toothbrushes, but Golden said snack items like popcorn are more than they appear to us.
“Meals Ready to Eat only give you so much food. They don't give you the tasty stuff. This is kind of their little piece of home,” Golden said.
Lieutenant Davan Scott said boxes like these are a big boost when you are serving thousands of miles from home.
“When you open up the box and look inside and see things from home, Christmas cards, letters from family or just junk food that you normally don't get to see it's kind of a morale booster,” Scott said.
He was overseeing the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets who were helping pack the boxes on Saturday.
Seaman Recruit Jon Stracek said he wants to travel the world as a sailor, but said these boxes will help troops that are away for the holidays.
“It's pretty tough because they don't get to be by their families and it's probably sad for them, but when they receive these it will be nice to actually get something that they can enjoy,” Stracek said.
Things got wrapped up quickly with a little muscle from the cadets. Toller said this is the first Spread the Love shipment, but it could become a Christmas tradition for the Marine mom.
The packages were sent out on Saturday and Toller said that means the troops will get them in time for Christmas.
Duluth Ski Club Continues Cross-Country Tradition
The weather was perfect on Saturday for the Tour Duluth cross-country ski event. Skiers hit the trails from the west to east end of town to celebrate the end of the season, and members of the Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club they'll keep the skiing tradition going.
Brighton Beach Draws Ice Fishing Crowd on a Sunny Saturday
Brighton Beach drew quite the crowd on Saturday. The sunny weather brought people out to do some fishing before the ice was gone. Jeff Swenson said he wasn't catching much, but he was out there for the warm weather.
Coast Guard Begins Ice Breaking on Lake Superior
U.S. Coast Guard officials say ice breaking on the Duluth-Superior harbor this year will be difficult. The director of Vessel Traffic Services tells Wisconsin Public Radio that it's the most ice he's seen on the lake in 25 years.
State Patrol: 4 Killed in Crash Near Sleepy Eye ID'd
The Minnesota State Patrol has released the identities of four people killed in a two-vehicle crash on icy roads Friday near Sleepy Eye. The broadside crash happened on Highway 14 in Brown County just after 8 p.m.
US Navy Sends Destroyer to Help in Plane Search; 2 Stolen Passports Were on Board
The U.S. Navy says it has dispatched a warship to aid in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner. The jet vanished Saturday on a flight from Malaysia to Beijing. Vietnamese air force planes report spotting a pair of large oil slicks in the area where the Boeing 777 went missing. The State Department confirms that three Americans were aboard. Additionally, Foreign Ministry Officials say two nationals listed on the manifest of the flight match passports reported stolen in Taiwan.