Manta Ray Partners
Help support our troops.

  Dear Mason families and swimmers,


We would like to celebrate this Fourth of July holiday by remembering our troops serving overseas. Care packages and letters are a terrific way to say thanks to our deployed troops and to let them know they are not forgotten while they are so far from home. We will be collecting used paperbacks and DVDs along with beef jerky, soft packs of baby wipes (medium sized refill packs are best; large containers take up too much space), and thick black or white boot crew socks. We will be collecting items until July 31. Thank you cards will also be given to the coaches of each group and made available to any swimmer and/or their family who would like to write a note of thanks. We will be shipping our donations to an organization called Marine that sends care packages and letters on a regular basis to marines who do not receive letters from home so all notes should be addressed ýDear Marineý (Further guidelines for notes are listed at the end of this note.)


Donated items can be placed in the marked plastic containers at the outdoor pool and in the marked containers underneath the swim team mailboxes at the indoor pool. If anyone would prefer to make a monetary donation, make checks payable to Donna West or to and put in the West family folder. Any family that wishes to place $1 in an envelope to help Marine defray their postage costs (they expect to mail 1100 packages at a cost of $13,000) can put that in the West folder as well, and it will be included with the items collected and sent.



The Mason Swim Coaches


Marines are especially touched by homemade cards from children, or letters that let them know what's going on back home: what books, movies, and music are coming out, or what your day-to-day life is like. Or write a letter to let them know what you're doing here at home to support the troops!


     Address cards and letters to "Dear Marine."

     Please do not seal cards and letters in individual envelopes for delivery to the Marines. (Instead, cards and letters will be placed inside a larger mailing envelope to send to with the care package items we collect).

     Cards and letters must be handwritten, not typed.

     Photo copies of the same letter will not be accepted.

     Please send cards and letters of support that are unique and thoughtful; it means so much to the men and women defending our freedom.


Your help and commitment is greatly appreciated by Marines deployed to combat zones like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Thank you for your support!


Thank You from a Marine:

"We enjoy reading letters and looking at the drawings from the kids. It brightens our day to see all the people who stand behind us back home." A Marine in Afghanistan

"...Thank you for everything and thank Brianna especially, who made the beautiful heart card for me." A Marine in Iraq

"We all thank you so much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I especially liked the homemade card from Andrew..." A Marine in Iraq


Guidelines taken from is the organization that we will be sending our donations/cards to. Commanding officers send them the names of Marines who aren’t receiving letters or packages, and sends a package to these Marines every ten weeks during their 7-12 month deployment. They have over 1000 names to ship to at any given time. Every ten weeks, volunteers in Columbia, Missouri meet at the local packing facility to print customs forms and labels, sort donated items, assemble and then address these packages to mail overseas.)