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RIDC event in Fox Chapel benefits military personnel

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A business networking event later this month will provide benefits to members of the military.

The Business Leads Exchange networking group will sponsor a benefit for Military Connections from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Fox Chapel RIDC Comfort Inn.

Beth Hastings, a member of the exchange network and office manager at Northwest Savings Bank in Sharpsburg, said group members wanted to help the organization.

Its founder, Summer Tissue — who also leads the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce — is a member of the group.

“It's a good cause,” Hastings said. “We know so many people out there through the networking events, we just thought the funds would be going to good use.”

Tissue started the nonprofit Military Connections 10 years ago. It sends care packages to troops serving overseas and those recovering from injuries. The money and items collected at the event will benefit the organization's Christmas stocking drive.

“It's a morale booster to brighten their holiday,” Tissue said.

Members of the American Sewing Guild sew stockings that are sent to troops. Tissue said last year about 13,000 were mailed.

Guests can bring donations to help fill the stockings. Items needed include granola bars, candy, small boxes of cereal, chewing gum, powdered drink mix, white athletic socks, lip balm and pretzels.

Tissue said many recipients don't have friends or family who send care packages.

“That's pretty much the only item they're going to get during the holidays or anytime,” Tissue said.

The cost is $15 if tickets are ordered before Sept. 15 and $20 at the door. The cost includes food and a door prize ticket.

A cash bar will be available. Tickets are available at the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce, Oakmont or Cheswick Floral and Northwest Savings Bank in Sharpsburg. They also can be ordered online at www.blxnetworking.com or by sending a check made out to BLX Networking to Northwest Savings Bank, Attention: Beth Hastings at 905 Main St. Sharpsburg, PA 15215. Tickets will be held at the door.

For more information about Military Connections, see www. militaryconnections.org.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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