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December 26. 2012 11:15PM

Crown Royal promotion raises fund for NH nonprofit

BEDFORD - A New Hampshire-based organization dedicated to sending care packages to soldiers overseas is receiving an unexpected Christmas gift from an unusual entity.

This holiday season, Crown Royal has offered to donate 25 cents to MooreMart - a local nonprofit organization founded by a Bedford man and his sister - for every bottle of whiskey sold in November and December, up to $10,000.

"We are so grateful to them," said Carole Biggio, co-founder of MooreMart. "They are a big supporter of the troops, so this is a really exciting initiative for us."

MooreMart is a 501-c-3 organization that typically sends about 1,800 care packages to New Hampshire troops every 10 weeks. To date, more than 50,000 MooreMart care packages and more than four tons of relief supplies have been shipped to the Middle East to help schools, clinics and orphanages through the MooreMart initiative.

It costs a lot of money to ship all of the packages overseas, according to Biggio, who said the money donated by Crown Royal at the end of the year will be used to help offset some of those shipping costs.

"Shipping is the biggest expense in our operation, so this unexpected money will greatly help with that," she said.

It was about five years ago when MooreMart received its first request from a soldier for the well-known purple velvet Crown Royal bags used to store high quality whiskey.

"We definitely thought it was a strange request at the time," said Biggio, adding it didn't take long for her organization to learn that soldiers were using the soft, drawstring bags to store, carry and clean their night-vision goggles.

The bags are an ideal size to keep the goggles protected, said Biggio, adding MooreMart has since collected and shipped more than 4,200 Crown Royal bags to soldiers serving in the Middle East.

MooreMart, in conjunction with the local community and area American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups, has been collecting the bags for about five years.

"We have no idea what to expect," said Biggio, adding whatever the final donation tally is at the end of the year, MooreMart will be incredibly appreciative.

Although most New Hampshire troops have returned home, Paul Moore, co-founder of MooreMart, said previously that his organization continues to receive requests from different units being deployed throughout the nation. The care packages are personally prepared and custom packed for individual requests, and it takes dozens of volunteers to help coordinate all of the boxes.

MooreMart's next packing event will take place Feb. 14-16 at the U.S. Army National Guard Armory in Nashua.

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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at khoughton@newstote.com.


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