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Turning out to support the troops
Legion Auxiliary-sponsored fest gathers items for Operation Sandbox
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Popular care package items: 

Beanie Weenies, beef jerky, single drink mixes (Gatorade, Kool Aid, Crystal Lite), Slim Jims, sunflower seeds, baby wipes, foot powder, lip balm, hand sanitizer, men’s deodorant, disposable razors, shaving gel/cream, Twizzlers, trail mix, Power Bars, tuna, Ravilio, canned fruit, mouthwash (travel size), toothbrushes, granola bars, toothpaste, DVDs (science fiction, westerns, comedy, etc), Silly String, puzzle books, Ramen Noodles, Q-Tips, hard candy, Zip Lock bags (snack, quart, gallon), dental floss, microwave popcorn, peanuts, batteries (AA, AAA, C), baby powder, Febreze, small laundry detergent, dryer sheets, soups, microwaveable meals.

In honor of those who have served and who are serving in the U.S. armed forces, Operation Sandbox and American Legion members have partnered to present a Support Our Troops Bike Ride and Festival Saturday.

"We joined forces this year to make it a bigger event," said Virginia Pearson, director of Operation Sandbox Georgia.

Pearson, director of Operation Sandbox, organized a charity bike ride beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Granite Mountain Harley-Davidson on Dogwood Drive in Conyers.

"They’ll ride through the Rockdale and Newton County countryside and end up on the square where the rest of the event will take place," Pearson said.

All makes and models are welcome on the ride, which will be escorted by Rockdale and Newton county sheriff’s deputies. Each bike requires a $20 donation as the registration fee. All proceeds will go toward mailing costs as well as buying items that Operation Sandbox volunteers use to fill care packages to send to active duty soldiers.

Once riders arrive on the square they will be greeted with musical entertainment and food provided by American Legion Unit 32 out of Covington.

Musical entertainment includes ‘50s, ‘60s and ’70s rock cover band The Archmen, as well as an Elvis, a Johnny Cash and a Patsy Cline impersonator.

Other entertainment consists of a car show around the square including a Humvee with soldiers and a General Lee out of Charlotte, N.C., Dunebuggy the Clown, and children’s games and activities.

The event on the square will last from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"We’re encouraging people to come out and enjoy themselves as well as bring us the items we need for the packages," Pearson said.

For more information about Operation Sandbox Georgia or the items needed for their care packages, visit or call (770) 784-9155.