Bake sale at Gaeta raises funds to send school supplies to Iraqi kids
Stars and Stripes October 27, 2004
Residents of the small Navy base in Gaeta, Italy, opened their hearts and wallets for the schoolchildren of Iraq, raising about $800 for the purchase of school supplies through a two-day bake sale.
Petty officers first class assigned to the USS La Salle, the 6th Fleet staff and their family members ran the sale, with the money going to Operation Iraqi Children.
Operation Iraqi Children was started by actor Gary Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote “Seabiscuit: An American Legend.”
The organization’s effort to gather money for school supplies was recently featured on “Good Morning America.”
Gaeta resident Larissa Leon-Key watched the TV report and thought it was a worthy cause.
She approached her husband, Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Key, to see if he knew how to raise money for school supplies. He recommended using the joint ship-staff petty officers first class association.
“I wanted to do something,” said Leon-Key. “There may be a lot of bad stuff going on there, but as Americans, we have a spirit of giving.”
“Everyone was all for it,” said Key, the association president, about his fellow petty officers.
“It’s hard to get anything going on because Gaeta’s such a small community, but I think it went pretty well,” he said.
Many Gaeta residents stopped by to donate or purchase baked goods, including Gaeta resident Michelle Davey.
“We’ll probably be giving a donation in addition to the snacks I’m having,” she said.
“It’s definitely for a good cause.”