Oakville Elementary fifth grader develops fundraiser to benefit troops overseas

The Oakville Elementary Beta Club raised \$650 for the USO's Operation Phone Home program through the sale of McDonald's coupons and bracelets and by hosting an '80s dance. The fundraiser was led my member Nicholas DeLucia — front row, second from left — whose brother serves in the U.S. Army.

The Oakville Elementary Beta Club raised \$650 for the USO’s Operation Phone Home program through the sale of McDonald’s coupons and bracelets and by hosting an ’80s dance. The fundraiser was led my member Nicholas DeLucia — front row, second from left — whose brother serves in the U.S. Army.

The Oakville Elementary Beta Club members serve as leaders in their school community, and they recently took their leadership efforts abroad by collecting $650 to benefit the United Service Organizations’ Operation Phone Home program, which provides prepaid international calling cards for soldiers to use while overseas.

The collection for the USO — presented to USO of Missouri Executive Director Kathy O’Connor on May 17 by Oakville Elementary students — was developed by Beta Club member Nicholas DeLucia.

Over his spring break, Nicholas attended an event at the McDonald’s restaurant located at 5537 Telegraph Road. When he discovered the restaurant participated in fundraisers, Nicholas spoke with manager Angie Buscher about helping his club with a fundraiser to support soldiers overseas, according to a district news release.

“I wanted to do something to help soldiers because my brother is in the Army,” Nicholas stated.

Buscher donated 800 coupons to the Beta Club, who sold 767 of the coupons to family and friends. The club also raised money for the USO through a bracelet sale and ’80s dance at the school and from individual donations.

“We really appreciate everything our servicemen and women are doing for our country, and this was our way of giving back to them for their service,” stated Oakville Elementary counselor and Beta Club sponsor Ruth Emnett.

One hundred percent of the money raised for the USO Operation Phone Home program is used to purchase phone cards and operate the organization’s private telephone network available in USO centers in Southeast Asia. For more information about the USO and its Operation Phone Home program, visit

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