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SASEBO, Japan — About 25 USS Essex crewmembers delivered $1,334 to each of three local children’s homes on Friday, according to an Amphibious Group One news release — and threw in a party for the kids for good measure.

About 55 children from the Seifuen, Taiyo-Ryou and Tenshin-Ryou children’s homes attended the meal and ice cream gathering.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mira Lee, formerly assigned to the Essex, raised about $4,000 sewing other sailors’ patches on their uniforms during eight months in 2004 and 2005.

Lee, a dental technician who also was the ship’s sailor of the year, wanted the funds donated to children’s homes in Sasebo, the release stated. She recently transferred to Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., but left the money in Japan to be distributed by Essex shipmates.

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