Pictures of the smiling soldiers posed in front of the autographed Cape Harbour banner said it all. This is Realmark Development's third year collecting money - this year close to $700 - to support the Adopt-A-Troop Foundation and its efforts to send care packages to troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As part of their thank you message, many of the soldiers who received the much-needed care packages decided to pose for photos to show their further appreciation to all who contributed and signed the banner.
Raising money for the troops has become an annual event at Cape Harbour's Fourth of July "Great American Picnic" celebration. Contributions grow every year as does the number of care packages that are sent out by the by the non-profit group's founder Kaye Caple, who enlists a small group of close friends to help.
Soldiers pose with the care packages they received through Realmark Development’s Adopt-A-Troop Foundation.
Over the past three years, Caple has sent 1,592 care packages to the overseas troops. Of that number, 250 care packages came from those who attended Cape Harbour's Fourth of July event.
"It's wonderful to know that 1,592 troops have received 'boxes of love' and that we were part of it," said Glenda Swager, Realmark Realty Group's event coordinator.
Adopt-A-Troop Foundation volunteers manned a special booth set up at this year's Cape Harbour celebration. In addition to the booth, a team of young adults brought in $88.87 from the sale of lemonade at the event.
Caple, who also attended this year's celebration, said she is always "honored and humbled" at the efforts made to bring in donations that benefit the troops.
"There are so many men and women who get nothing from home. Out of a unit of 400, 150 get nothing, so what we're doing is important and appreciated. The letters we get (from the troops) are on the web site and they're wonderful. They're so grateful. We've come a long way since when we started sending boxes two years ago," Caple said.
Laura Straus, Realmark Realty Group's vice president for sales and marketing, said the partnership with the foundation will go on and hopefully continues to be a success as long as the need exists. She went on to thank all who contributed.
"Stop for a moment and think how much easier our lives are in comparison to these brave men and women," Straus said. "We were able to put a smile on their faces "