A successful adoption

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 02:07 PM.

Matthew Wright had an idea and figured it would be one the community of Gulf County would support.

Even that high bar was cleared.

Wright coordinated an effort that culminated this week with the shipment of boxes to Troy (AL) University alumni Terry Thompson and Buck Watford, soldiers currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Wright’s idea was “Adopt an Alumni” as a way to provide a hometown connection for the two employees of the Gulf County School District. He enlisted Buck’s wife, Pam, in the effort.

The start, Wright conceded was slow, but he said by the time the word had spread following an article in this newspaper, the end of the campaign this week came in a rush.

“The response has been great,” Wright said while collecting boxes of goodies and handwritten letters from Port St. Joe Elementary and Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High. “People just got really involved at both schools. A couple of teachers, Krystal Smallwood and Sharon Hoffman, made their own boxes.

“I was hoping we would be able to send a couple of boxes to both guys and we will and that just shows you what kind of a community Port St. Joe is. All of sudden (after the newspaper article), a flood came. The Panama City site is slammed. I thought, ‘Ah, now we have a good problem.’”

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