Comets softball team fields supplies to send soldiers

12U team ‘pitching in’ to send care packages overseas

The red and blue Comets travel softball team comes together before putting together care packages for soldiers overseas on Nov. 11 (Anthony J. Mazziotti III/The Sun)

Fielding ground balls and taking batting practice weren’t the only things the Washington Township Comets softball team did on Nov. 11. Both the red and blue 12U Comets teams packaged items to send to soldiers overseas.

The Comets are working in conjunction with West Deptford resident Caroline Cornelius, whose goal is to send 300 care packages to soldiers. Cornelius runs the nonprofit Military Appreciation Project Santa and Supplies. MAPSS, as it’s abbreviated, works hand-in-hand with the group 300 Boodle Brigade.

“I became a member of 300 Boodle Brigade through Facebook,” Cornelius said. “We send holiday care packages to deployed troops all over the world. Last year, I sent 208 care packages.”

Cornelius’ motivation comes from having two sons who are both in the Army.

“It’s a way to remain close to them and still give back,” she said.

The Comets are helping Cornelius achieve her goal of sending 300 care packages by creating 24 of their own.

“This year, the Comets are putting together 24 boxes to help contribute toward her goal,” Patricia Bush, mother of a Comet, said.

Bush, along with another Comet mom, Jody Browne, listed package items in alternating fashion.

Items include canned foods, socks, toiletry items, spices, adult activity books, magazines, books, puzzles, dry shampoo, new toothbrushes, games, sunscreen and lotion.

Bush added each girl brought 24 items to pack. The girls, while young, understood the gravity of their actions.

Red and Blue Comets players put care packages together for soldiers overseas on Nov. 11 (Anthony J. Mazziotti III/The Sun)

Arianna Nelli, a utility player on the blue Comets, said, “It means a lot because they’re helping us so we should help them.”

Vee Hartley, the center fielder on the blue Comets, added, “I think we should support them because they are protecting and serving our country.”

Frankie Pavone, who plays first base and shortstop on the red Comets, chimed in, “It’s important because soldiers are sacrificing their lives for us. It’s important to show them that we care and give back to them.”

Katie Fuller, a pitcher and left fielder on the red Comets, said. “They’re the reason why we can come out and play. It’s nice to be able to give them something because they gave us the freedom to play.”

Faith Gallagher, a pitcher and shortstop for the blue Comets, finished by saying, “It’s important to me because my grandfather was a Vietnam veteran. It’s nice to give back to those who serve.”

Heather Hartley, another Comet mom, further discussed the donations.

“We’re trying to teach the kids not just lessons about being on the field, but off the field as well,” she said. “That’s why we make sure to do things like this and be a family. Even if we’re competing on the field – when we’re off the field we’re friends.”

The Comets are doing their part to help Cornelius achieve her goal of 300 donated boxes. Cornelius is doing her part to help the 300 Boodle Brigade surpass last year’s number of 3,376 boxes from 46 states in 2017. Even if actions seem small, they can add up. This 24-box donation from a 12U softball team is a perfect example of that.

For those looking to help Cornelius, she can be reached by email at ccornelius380@gmail.com.