May 12, 2008
Vermonters answer call to help send Vermont syrup to U.S. soldiers
Montpelier, Vt. – For the fourth consecutive year, Operation Maple Sweetness solicited donations from sugarmakers and Vermonters throughout the state to be distributed to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. This year, a last minute drive by the Douglas administration to boost donations made the venture extra sweet.
Due to very high demand for Vermont’s premium syrup, Operation Maple Sweetness donations had been slightly lower than in previous years. To encourage last minute syrup or monetary donations, the Agency of Agriculture teamed up with the Department of Motor Vehicles to accept donations at DMV offices throughout the state. Officials said Saturday that Vermonters answered the call and the last minute drive put Operation Sweetness far beyond its goal.
“Operation Maple Sweetness has been an important effort by our state for the last 4 years,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “Our maple sugarmakers have gotten together and organized the collection and distribution of syrup to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a chance to bring a taste of Vermont to a place of the world that is experiencing great stress and help those who are serving our nation at a time when they need a little boost from back home. So I’m so proud of Vermont for coming through once again.”
In total, Operation Maple Sweetness raised more than 6200 pints of syrup, well beyond the 5800 pint record set last year. Much of the donated maple syrup was packaged today at Butternut Mountain Farm in Morrisville. It will soon be shipped oversees. The syrup containers are stamped with a special label before being distributed to thousands of troops by Memorial Day as a simple gesture of appreciation.
“Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness 2008 is a real team effort between Vermont maple producers, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, Vermont Maple Foundation, Vermont Industry Council, Vermont Maple Festival, Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, and Vermont Agencies of Agriculture and Transportation and the Vermont National Guard,” said Roger Allbee, Secretary of Agriculture. “For some, it might be their first taste of Vermont maple syrup and for others it will be a reminder of home. This is our way of saying thank you and showing our support for our U.S. soldiers.”
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: May 12, 2008 08:38:55