published Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Tunes 4 the Troops accomplishes mission

Kaylee Marie Radzyminski started Tunes 4 the Troops, which sends CDs and DVDs to U.S. troops.
Kaylee Marie Radzyminski started Tunes 4 the Troops, which sends CDs and DVDs to U.S. troops.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Tunes 4 the Troops accomplished its mission Tuesday: More than 1 million CDs, DVDs and computer games sent to American troops in harm's way.

Kaylee Marie Radzyminski started Tunes 4 the Troops as a Cleveland High School freshman in 2005. Her goal was to send 1 million items to help military members pass the hours in their downtime. Over the years, others nationwide became involved, and the effort attracted national attention.

"I feel honored to have helped make a difference in the lives of so many people and to have been given an opportunity to allow others to do the same thing," Radzyminski, now a Tennessee Tech junior majoring in geographic information systems, said in an email.

Since the program started, community organizations, Cleveland High students and friends of Radzyminski held several packing parties at the school, boxing items donated by individuals, companies and professional musicians.

The final 100,000 items, as well as iPods and MP3 players, were loaded Tuesday to be flown to units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Radzyminski said there no longer will be a post office box or address associated with Tunes 4 the Troops.

"The website will remain up, and people can still email the Tunes 4 the Troops email address and request an address of a troop serving overseas to send a box to," she said.

Her mother, Stephanie Radzyminski, said the total came to 1,050,000 items valued at more than $23 million.

"Who would have known that a simple idea would grow to become a program with the impact it has?" she asked.

But there are still shipping costs to be paid, just under $4,000, the Radzyminskis said.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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