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National Honoree

Kaylee Marie Radzyminski


Kaylee Marie Radzyminski, 16, of Cleveland, Tenn., a junior at Cleveland High School, launched a CD and DVD collection campaign that has spread across the country and resulted in the shipment of more than 170,000 discs - worth over $2.5 million - to U.S. soldiers overseas. While Kaylee Marie was attending a Sea Cadet training program in 2005, she met military personnel who had just returned home, and she learned that what they missed most overseas was entertainment. "I began to brainstorm," she said. "I first collected my CDs and DVDs, then my friends collected theirs, then my school, and it eventually made its way to the community, the state, and now it has become a nationwide campaign."

Kaylee Marie has solicited donations by speaking at churches, schools and clubs, organizing collection drives and contacting local news media. Currently, her post office box receives about 2,000 CDs and DVDs each week. With her mother's help, Kaylee Marie sorts, packs and ships out about 10 boxes every Saturday. In addition, more than 200 "satellite" locations across the U.S. - schools, churches, clubs, radio stations, Sea Cadet units and other organizations - have joined Kaylee Marie's "Tunes 4 the Troops" campaign, collecting discs in their areas and shipping them directly to service personnel abroad. "I have always had a special place in my heart for the men and women who serve our country," Kaylee said. "There is no reason why I can't do a little something to give back."