Messenger photos by John Matuszak
Reynoldsburg VFW plays Santa
Jordan Thomas, a fifth-grade student at Chapelfield Elementary School in Gahanna, is joined by his teacher, Karen Hammond, and Reynoldsburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9473 members Mark Pheister, Robert Ward and Gary Pfaff, who presented the student with a check for $500 for care packages for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hammond's class raised $450 on their own, and Jordan contacted Ward to obtain the additional money. The students put together 65 packages containing paperback novels, writing paper, lip balm, candy and wooden flags, along with letters they had written to the troops. Below, Marine Corporals Danny Swingle, left, and Drew VanFossan, of Loma Company, with the help of Kimberly Thayer, gather toys at the Reynoldsburg VFW post to be given to area families. This is the first year the Marines have partnered with VFW posts in their annual charity that will distribute 66,000 gifts in four counties.