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The troop boxes program through the Sedona Elks Lodge No. 2291 that sent toiletries and other necessary and fun items to soldiers serving overseas has come to an end — by behest.

Elks Club Members, from left, Don Waggoner, Vito Pantaleo, Ron Carmichael and Ed Lever stand with the last two boxes of supplies being sent to U.S. troops overseas. The troop box program will end after the Sedona club sent more than 4,000 boxes during the past four years. The boxes contain items such as shampoo, playing cards, soap and energy bars.Don Waggoner, who headed up the program for the past four years, took the final two boxes to the post office Tuesday, Aug. 28.

“I was told by a couple of our trustees to end the program. They didn’t want me going around soliciting donations for the boxes here at the lodge,” Waggoner said. “We sent 4,052 boxes — about 1,000 a year. It’s been a very energetic program, and the boxes were very much appreciated by our troops.”

All of the items that went into the boxes like soaps, shampoos, energy bars, a book or playing cards were donated from businesses and residents in Sedona. Some people donated money for Waggoner to buy items. Each box averaged about $400 worth of items, he said.

“Everything donated went to the boxes. Nothing came from the lodge’s funds. It was totally community-supported,” Waggoner said. “People here are very generous. We put little snacks and reading material from Sedona inside, like the Sedona Red Rock News so they could keep up on what’s happening back home.”


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