Wednesday, June 16, 2004


For the past month, Beth Frank has been gathering paperback books. "Mostly mysteries," the Courtland High School rising senior explains. "Some fantasies."

At the end of June, Beth will gather all the books, box them up and ship them overseas to her Marine uncle for distribution to the men and women in Iraq serving in the 2nd battalion, 2nd Marine regiment.

Tagging along with the books will be letters written by school children at Courtland Elementary School. Beth thought letters from the youngsters would let the soldiers know that "not only old people" are thinking about them.

The paperback book and letter-writing activities are part of Beth's project for the Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve. It is comparable to the Boy Scout Eagle Award.

The book collection has taken off. As of yesterday, Beth was processing nearly 1,800 books. Drop-off spots were at Borders book store in Central Park, Christ Episcopal Church, and Courtland High and Elementary schools. Boxes are still available at Borders and the church.

When it came time to choose a project, Beth knew she wanted to do something for the servicemen in Iraq.

"Mom knits and sends hats and stuff to the troops overseas during the winter," she said during a pause in processing her books. "I can't knit or crochet, and I wanted to do something."

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