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The Patriot Woodworkers with Op Ward 57 Adopt a Gold Star Family for the Holidays - 2017


Community Action Calendar
John Morris
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Every year The Patriot Woodworker's adopt a wounded warriors family for Christmas. We do this through a great veterans support organization named Operation Ward 57. The Patriot Woodworker's apply to Ward 57 to be accepted to receive our family for Christmas, and each year we are chosen to participate. And each year, our sponsors donate wonderful items for us to raffle for this cause. We use 100 percent of the raffle proceeds to purchase gifts for the kids, and a Christmas dinner for the family.


Our Mission 
We need your help to accumulate funds for our Gold Star adopted family, who has given much to our nation in physical and emotional sacrifice and much more in family sacrifice. 
All proceeds from this raffle will be used to purchase gifts for Camilla, Charlie, and mom Nicole and to provide a Christmas dinner for the family. 


The Gold Star Family
This year we are proud to be supporting the Merlo Family from San Marcos, California. 
They include Mrs. Merlo (widow of Spc 4 Ivan Merlo), and her son Charlie at 4 years old, and Camilla at 7 years of age.

Nicole and kids.jpg


The Merlo's in Service

Young Mr. and Mrs. Merlo.

Merlo Graphic.jpg


Spc 4. Ivan E. Merlo of San Marcos, California graduated from San Marcos High School in 2006. He joined the Army that October and arrived at Fort Campbell four months later. He was due to return home within two weeks after finishing a yearlong deployment in Iraq. He was supposed to serve as the best man at the wedding of his best friend and brother in combat, Pfc. Phillip J. Pannier. But Merlo and Pannier both died while waging an Army offensive targeting insurgents north of Baghdad. Just before being deployed, Ivan married his long time girlfriend, Nicole. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon, Weapons Qualification, M4, Expert. Ivan died in Samarra, Iraq of wounds sustained during combat operations at age 19.

Army Service
2nd Battalion
327th Infantry Regiment
1st Brigade Combat Team
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Fort Campbell, Kentucky


Gold Star Family History

The term Gold Star family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. These flags/banners were first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which the armed forces of the United States were engaged. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom. Read more...

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Our prior years projects


Click on the Raffle Ticket and support our adopted family!

Tickets only $2 each with multi ticket discounts!



  • Sorry, only Residents of the US and Canada may participate
  • All are welcome to participate, members, forum hosts, admins and non-members. (John Morris (Founder) and family may not participate)
  • Please allow 1 to 3 weeks for delivery of prizes, most of the time prizes are sent out immediately
  • You may purchase as many raffle tickets as you like
  • Raffle ends midnight December 16th 2017, names will be drawn one second after midnight
  • 4 names will be randomly drawn by Raffle River, and prizes will be awarded in the order of names drawn, starting with Laguna Certificate, then the Rikon Slow Speed Grinder, then the Woodriver Spindle Sander.
  • You may also enter by mailing check or money order made out to The Patriot Woodworker and send too: The Patriot Woodworker - 977 Sussex Rd, San Jacinto, CA. 92583
  • You may also request one free entry by submitting your request through regular postal mail, please use address above.


This year, the items our sponsors have donated can be seen in the image below, these are some great prizes folks! The tickets are only 2 dollars with multiple ticket bargains, and your odds of winning are very high given our typical turnout. To view the ticket prices, and to purchase your tickets please click on the Raffle Ticket above!

A full accountability of the proceeds will be reported on at the end of the raffle so you know your hard earned money was used for our Adopted Family.

You may win one of the following prizes!                           3 Winners will be randomly drawn by Raffle River

Sponsor Graphic Adopt a Family 2017.jpg


In Closing

Ok Patriot Woodworker's, it's time to muster and it's time to show everyone what we are all about! The purpose our woodworking community was created is for this reason, to help those who have served us, and paid the price.

Remember this is not charity, this is not a hand out, this is payback!


Thank you sponsors!

We also need to thank our sponsors Woodcraft Supply, and Laguna Tools, for their generous support and for donating those wonderful items for the raffle! For without them, we would not have a community, nor would we be able to perform the work we do. Thank you guys!




Laguna Tools Logo.png


Honorable Mention

The Patriot Woodworker community wants to also thank Easy Wood Tools for their past and continuous support of our woodworking community and their endless support of the men and women who serve our nation.

Easy Wood Tools has been a valuable partner to us and our military support efforts.

Easy Wood Tools, Made in America, by Americans, for the World!


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