By Megan Marron ’18, Staff Writer
When Tracy Bond Ciabattoni and the rest of her “Stars and Stripes” alumni chapter began shipping snacks and candy overseas 11 years ago, they had no idea how large their project would become.
This fundraiser, dubbed, “Treats for Troops,” started out as a chapter service project and has turned into so much more. The first Treats for Troops took place in Ciabonttoni’s apartment living room, where she and the other chapter members packed 25 treat bags.
In 2015, the project resulted in more than 1000 bags shipped to service men and women.
“Treats for Troops is my baby and my passion,” Ciabattoni said.
Once the project had outgrown her living room, Ciabattoni went looking for a local Alpha Sigma Tau chapter to team up with; she then found Lebanon Valley College for the project.
For the past three years the Stars and Stripes Alumni chapter has teamed up with the Gamma Tau chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau to bring treats and encouragement to troops stationed overseas.
Alpha Sigma Tau’s annual Treats for Troops fundraiser took place on September 24 in the Lebanon Valley College Underground. The sorority, along with campus and community helpers, packed 1,471 bags to send to deployed men and women.
The bags offer the men and women overseas a small taste of home.
“One mother wrote to me to say that it was the first time she had heard her daughter laugh since deployment,” Ciabattoni said.
The response from the troops is one of the main reasons that Ciabattoni and her team enjoy doing this. They also like how much campus and community involvement takes place throughout the endeavor.
The long-term goal of Treats for Troops is to simply keep outdoing themselves, though they would love if the world could get to a place where there were no more deployed troops.