A.L. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group still looks to help

Published 7:36 am Sunday, January 22, 2012

Albert Lea’s Beyond the Yellow Group has been busy helping families with snow removal, but wants to remind others that it’s available to help families of any service member in any branch of the military.

John Severtson, leader of the group, wants the community to know the group is still active and available to help those who need it. The group meets the second Thursday of each month at 5:15 p.m. at the Albert Lea Armory.

Albert Lea’s Delta Company of the Minnesota National Guard is deployed to Kuwait, but Severtson said he wants people to be aware that the group is there to help all branches of the military, and Delta Company families even after the deployment is over.

Sgt. Ken Laite poses for a photo with one of the "Daddy Dolls." -- Submitted photo

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“We’re here for the long haul,” Severtson said. “We will keep on going even when Delta Company comes back.”

Since the group first formed its steering committee last March and became an official Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Community in August, it has been busy. With help from Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, the group helped make “Daddy Dolls” and personalized dogtags for children of deployed soldiers.

The group also had a Fall Cleanup Day to help rake and get rid of leaves as well as a Mother’s Day Out to allow moms to have a day to shop for Christmas. With the VFW, the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Group sponsored a Christmas party for families.

The group continues to raise awareness by being present at the Freeborn County Fair, the upcoming toy show at the Northbridge Mall and by the new signs that are present on the city signs that proclaim the city is a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon City.

Family members of anyone in the military who need immediate assistance can contact Severtson at 507-473-3480. For questions or to volunteer contact Severtson at johnbecca@msn.com or visit the group’s page on Facebook.