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GROTON — Following the Cub Scout motto “Do Your Best,” Groton Cub Scout Pack 11 is doing its best by starting a collection for the members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed overseas. This year’s drive is dedicated to the memory of two soldiers with local ties that have recently lost their lives — Sgt. Zackary Tellier, who was killed in Afghanistan last year, and Master Sgt. Louis Winkles, who served overseas but lost his life to cancer.

The pack is collecting toiletries, books, magazines, CDs, socks, small travel games, local newspapers and foodstuffs like powdered drinks and energy bars, which will be shipped to the troops overseas in “care” packages.

Pack 11 did a similar drive two years ago and sent seven packages, weighing anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds, overseas. They were addressed to local servicemen or servicemen related to local residents.

“Our purpose is simple and clear. We’re looking to support our troops who are a long way from home in a hostile environment,” said Pack 11 Cubmaster Dean Marsh. “This is in no way a political statement or opinion about the war. It’s just our way of saying thanks and encouraging our soldiers.”

The Scouts will be collecting goods throughout the month of April to early May. It starts with their monthly pack meeting on Wednesday, April 9, and ends with their pack meeting of Friday, May 9, both at the Middle School North cafeteria at 7:30 p.m.

Collection boxes are also available at Donelan’s on Main Street in Groton, Shaw’s at the intersection of Routes 119 and 225 in Groton, and inside the corrugated cardboard recycling building at the Groton Transfer Station on Cow Pond Road. Other pickup arrangements can be made.

To make donations, the community is asked to bring the unwrapped goods to the pack meeting (send them in with a friendly neighborhood Cub Scout), or drop them in one of the drop boxes.

In addition to donations, the Cub Scouts are also interested in hearing about local service men and women stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan or other areas in harm’s way, in hopes of reaching them with this year’s packages.

For additional information or to provide the name of a local soldier stationed overseas, please contact Community Service Coordinator Jon Boroshok at (978) 502-1055 or send an e-mail to