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New Stanton tech center students support troops serving overseas

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Mt. Pleasant Area senior Shane Carnes creates a banner at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center for Hannah Dillon’s Operation Troop Appreciation project for the upcoming SkillsUSA competition at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Cheering behind the “Support Our Troops” banner which signified the Operation Troop Appreciation fundraiser are (from left) Amanda Golkosky, Josie Bender, Kyra Lasko, Carmen Kubasky and Brayden Peck at Friday’s Mt. Pleasant Area football game at Viking Stadium.

Hannah Dillon, the Skills USA state president, not only initiated a fundraiser known as Operation Troop Appreciation at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton, she extended her mission to students at Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School.

“I chose to raise money all year for Operation Troop Appreciation as part of my duties as state president,” Dillon said.

In the process, Dillon enlisted Shane Carnes in the graphic design shop at the center to create a banner for the upcoming Skills USA Fall Leadership Workshop at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

Dillon's goal is to have all of the students and advisors at the workshop sign the banner created by Carnes.

Following the workshop, the banner then will be sent to Operation Troop Appreciation, a non-profit organization that sends “wish list” items to troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq to contribute to the safety, mission effectiveness, morale and well-being of the soldiers.

To raise money for Operation Troop Appreciation, students at the center can purchase stars for $1 each.

The stars are displayed on a bulletin board at the school upon purchase.

“I'm impressed with all of the energy, passion and dedication that Hannah has to put forth to such a worthy endeavor,” said Troy Collier, the center's principal.

“It will be nice for the troops stationed overseas to know that they are in the hearts and minds of so many and are, indeed, truly appreciated.”

Dillon said she also created a banner for Mt. Pleasant Area Junior/Senior High School that was hung in the student spirit section of Friday's Vikings home football game.

She spearheaded the project to sell stars for $1 each during lunch periods at the school.

Dillon put the stars with student names and messages on the school banner.

“Fighting for our freedom is the greatest sacrifice an individual can make for our country,” said Linda Mondock, a chemistry teacher at the school. “Hannah's decision to collect for our troops is more than a worthy cause. We can all support her and be proud of her here.”

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or