The first round of donations from Chadds Ford has reached U.S. troops in Afghanistan and a second round is being readied.

A friendly competition between Democrats and Republicans in the township centering around last month's general election resulted in charitable contributions for

Approximately $1,100 was raised from the two parties -- $250 each - and from Republican Paul Koch and Democrat Peter Jesson, also $250 each. Another $100 came from Dick Geis, a volunteer at the Chadds Ford Historical Society.

Koch said he will do the shopping for needed items through the Web site.

Koch said he already sent some goods that were donated, collected in bins at the Chadds Ford Township building. Those items included letters from Boy Scout Troop 260, a variety of food items -- cookies, popcorn, chips, jerky and candy, as well as toiletries including soap, shampoo, toothpaste and mouthwash among others.

He also included in that first shipment a copy of the Chadds Ford Post article describing the challenge.

Chief Warrant Officer Paul Dziegielewski, Koch's contact in Afghanistan has acknowledged the first shipment of product and sent a thank you letter in return:

"Mr. Koch,

Wow, thank you very much! We received the care package you sent and really do appreciate what you, your community and the Boy Scouts of America 260 have done for us here in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

"The newspaper article in the Chadds Ford Post really surprised and pleased me when I read it. ... What a wonderful thing for you and the others to do...

"Sir, as stated above, we really appreciate all that you have done for us. My soldiers and I would like to wish you, your family, friends and community a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year!"

Contributions are being sent in the name of Congressman-elect Joe Sestak.

The competition began this summer when Jesson, chairman of the Chadds Ford Democratic Party, boasted that he was willing to bet $10,000 that Sestak would defeat Curt Weldon in the November election.

Koch challenged Jesson, saying they should risk $250, with the backer of the losing candidate sending the money to charity. Jesson then suggested they each put up money to be donated in the name of the winning candidate.

Both men agreed and their respective parties also agreed to join in with $250 each.

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