There is another reason to go the Bridge City Cardinal Classic this weekend at Claiborne West Park, other than just to watch the over 500 athletes racing. The BC cross country teams, cheerleaders and boosters feel it is the perfect opportunity to say thanks to U.S. troops overseas. Together they are bringing the “Let’s Say Thanks in Support of Our Troops” program sponsored by Xerox to Orange County.

Postcards designed by children from all over the United States have been designed for the program.

“It’s just the greatest program,” said Judy Shockley, grandmother of cheerleader Meagan Shockley. Her son, Donnie Shockley and Meagan went to Houston to pick up the designed blank cards available for signing Saturday.

“I think this is the first time the program has been brought to this area,” said Shockley. She believes Houston is the closest an onsite event has been held.

People can select their favorite and write a personalized message to troops. Xerox mails them in care packages to deployed troops through the military support organization Give2TheTroops. More than 25 million messages of support have been submitted through this program to date.

Xerox launched the program in late 2005 as a way for the company to deliver value to the community and support the men and women stationed overseas. The program is active in two ways; the on-site card drive, like the one to be held Saturday and through the Web

Visitors to the Web site can easily choose from 10 pre-written messages or elect to write their own personalized message.

Shockley invites everyone to attend the meet and personally sign their card.

The Cardinal Classic is scheduled for 8 a.m., Sept. 4 at Claiborne West Park. While there, feel free to support the athletes as well.

Mrs. Shockley said the Boosters will also be selling food and drinks.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.