Who would ever guess that supporting the American troops fighting overseas would be as easy as eating a cheeseburger, but with the help of the Souderton American Legion Warren Royer Post 234, it is.
Cheeseburger Day was started by some members of the Souderton Post to raise money to send care packages to troops. To date, the group has sent out 2500 packages to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.,
"Some people will drop over $100 for a burger," Legion member and co-creator of Cheeseburger Day Elda Kulp of Souderton said about the generosity of burger-loving contributors.
There is no set price for a burger at the events and Legion members and members of the community have been very generous, Kulp said.
"The whole legion, they support us a lot," Kulp said.
Kulp works closely with the other co-creators of Burger Day, Legion members Robin Drace, Cindy Godshall, and Fred Smith ,to hold the burger bonanzas. There is no set time. When we need money, we have a burger day.
Kulp does the cooking, Drace is the server and Godshall and Smith are the bartenders. All of the ingredients are either donated or bought with their own money and so all of the proceeds go towards making care packages for the troops. Because the popularity has spread, the group tries to get sponsors for each event. We went from 10 lbs of beef to 140lbs!!! It's the best burger in town!
The group has been averaging around $3000 per Burger Day, which goes a long way towards sending their packages of goodies. The last Burger day in October, 2011 raised $3800 for the cause.
Each package costs around $50 to fill, and $15 for shipping and handling, but they have still been able to send out around 2500 packages to more than 50 different troops in the last four years, Kulp said. The care packages include anything from deodorant, toothbrushes and lip balm, to beef jerky, candy and the soldier's favorite treat –Tastykakes.
Although a lot of the treats inside the boxes are fun for the troops the message behind the gesture is serious. Kulp said that one of the reasons that she and her friends at the Legion started doing Burger Day was of a fear that her husband Steve described after serving in the military during the Gulf War.
"Their biggest fear is that people will forget them," Kulp said her husband explained to her about the experience.
Receiving a package from home boosts morale and just makes our troops know that someone really does care!
Because of this, Kulp, Drace, Godshall and Smith have made an effort to send packages to soldiers that do not have family at home, and would not regularly get letters or packages.
Soldiers that they have rec'd. these packages have written to say thank you, but they have also given the group the names of other soldiers who do not have families so that they can get packages as well.
"The thank yous are incredible. It just make everyone feel good!
Next burger day is 2-4-12 honoring the fallen.
Elda Kulp, President Souderton American Legion Post 234 Souderton, PA 18964