Republican party lends a hand to military familyDouglas County's Republicans put politics aside to help a family of a soldier serving in Iraq.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
When the Douglas County Republican Women formed nearly a year ago, the one thing the group knew they wanted to do – beyond politics – was to help people in their community.
And Friday, the group had the opportunity to do just that in time to make one family’s Christmas a little brighter.
“I wish this was a plane ticket,” said Jeanine Edstrom, the beneficiary of the Republican women’s efforts. Even so, the $750 check she held in her hand, she said would be a big help as she, her son, Aaron, and twin daughters Alexa and Andrea, celebrate Christmas this year while her husband, PFC Brent Edstrom, serves in Balad, Iraq.
The private first class is one of the members of the 950th Clearance Co. deployed to Iraq earlier this year. The company won’t be home until sometime in March.
Everything doesn’t have to be about the party, said Craig Rosand, chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party. However, he admits, the first fundraiser the long established party ever held for nonpolitical support was driven by the women. That said, he said it is definitely something they plan to do again next year.
The money was raised a week ago, when party members gathered at the Shack Restaurant for their annual Christmas dinner. The 70 members who gathered had the opportunity to participate in a live auction, the proceeds of which were designated to go to a military family.
The Edstroms were chosen by the Family Readiness Group for the gift, said Lynn Ross, co-chairwoman of the Republican women. She said they approached the readiness group to determine who would benefit from the gift. Because there were several families, she said the FRG put all the names in a hat and the Edstroms were drawn from the mix.
“I’m glad it went to my friend,” said Kim Crandall, co-chairwoman of the Republican women and former Scout leader for the twins.
“This is great,” said Brad Edstrom, Jeanine’s father-in-law. He said it hasn’t been easy since Brent left – he misses the son who helps him with his business, Professional Carpet Systems of the Twin Ports – the couple married only three days before the deployment and only had two weeks together when Brent was home in October.
It was nice; we got to go on our honeymoon, Jeanine Edstrom said. In the mean time, they spend a lot of time keeping in touch on Facebook and occasionally Skype.
Still, March is a long time away and right now, every little bit helps, she said.
“It’s pretty awesome that people who don’t even know you want to help you out,” she said.