Robert Morris Band sends a taste of home overseas

Morgan Torchia

The Robert Morris University Show Band has taken on a special task to send some joy to the troops overseas. Up until December, the band will be collecting Oreos for a cause called Operation Oreo. The idea behind the collection is to send the cookies to the military as a small reminder of what’s back home.

“Personally I believe it’s a great cause to give soldiers a little taste of home,” said junior brass player Matt Mamros.

Operation Oreo first started back in 2009 in Alpharetta, Ga. The event was founded by Senior Pastor Don Martin while he was on a plane ride. He was sitting next to a soldier who was returning home from Iraq. He had struck up a conversation with him and when the conversation turned to what he missed most back home, his answer was very simple: Oreos.

“The RMU Show Band started collecting Oreos on Oct. 10 until Dec. 6,” said senior marketing and information officer Amanda Lewis. “We collect at every home football game and every Tuesday and Thursday in Yorktown and PNC Cafe from five to seven.”

The idea was brought to the band’s attention through their director, Betsy Charles.

“The idea came about by our director. One of the ladies she goes to church with has done this collection (for) a few years,” said senior operating officer Jennifer Hoffman. “It was brought to the lady’s attention that most groups stationed overseas do not have Oreos where they are stationed, and they missed the small taste of home.”

Each year all across the United States, Operation Oreo has been spreading to more and more organizations in an effort to send the military cookies. The first time the event was done in Georgia, they had collected 2,400 packs of Oreos. This past August, Georgia collected and sent over five tons of Oreos.

“As of right now we have collected over 60 packs of Oreos in almost every flavor and size available,” said Hoffman. “They have been donated from band parents, football parents, students, and RMU fans.”

Oreos have been sent to many locations including Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. They also went to two medical facilities, the United State Navy ships Comfort and Mercy.

“Overall, I believe that Operation Oreo is going over very well,” said Lewis. “Operation Oreo is being headed by the Band Council Rookie Reps, Emily Nobers and Jon DeGrosky, with help from all the first year participants.”

The Oreos will be sent out at the end of the band marching season.