6,479 Valentines delivered to active duty and retired military in time for Valentines Day

Alta wins Valentines for Vets challenge Alta Murrieta Elementary won this year's Valentine for Vets Challenge and the traveling trophy was presented to them on Friday, February 10 at the school's flag ceremony.

Eight schools participated in the Challenge and the total count was 6,497 Valentines: Alta (1,877), Antelope Hills (475), Avaxat (700), Buchanan (850), E. Hale Curran (818), Rail Ranch (514) and Tovashal (884) and Warm Springs Middle School (379).

Superintendent Stan Scheer served in the Army from 1966 to 1972 and he told Alta students, "The most important thing a person in the Military does every day is go to mail call. Getting mail when you are in the Military is the most special thing."

This was the third year students have participated in the nationwide effort. The first year, Alta Murrieta made 250 valentines. Last year the Challenge got started and students at Alta Murrieta and Tovashal made about 4,000 Valentines which were delivered to veterans.

Kelly Breen-Stottman is the Military Chair for the Murrieta Valley Council PTA and she and Council PTA President Mary Kelley organized the Valentines for Vets challenge. 3,000 of the valentines are on a military aircraft headed for Bagram Air Base for men and women of our armed forces who are currently stationed in Afghanistan. Tovashal parent Colonel Mary Aldrian is Vice Commander of the 452ndAir Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base and Parliamentarian for Murrieta Valley Council PTA and she arranged for the Valentines to get a military transport to Afghanistan.

Alta Murrieta parent Zinda Seguin organized the effort for Alta Murrieta and she said students worked on valentines at home, in class and during lunch time. Seguin, who served in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, is a member of the district's Military Support Advisory Committee. "I never got random mail like this" Seguin said. "We are going to touch so many lives."

Zeguin and Stottman will distribute the rest of the valentines to veterans at retirement facilities, VFWs, and VA's at Balboa, Camp Pendleton and Loma Linda in time for Valentines Day.