by Darrin J. Cook
Most kids are just settling into the new school year when September rolls around. New clothes, new classes, and new friends seemingly become the only world they know. For Annalise Klein, age 13, and Jack Klein, age 8, the focus shifts to baking apple pies. Not one or two apple pies, like most households this time of year, over one hundred apple pies (and counting).
What is the deal with all of these pies? Well, they are for the veterans. Annalise and Jack, children of Rebecca and Christian Klein of Burton (44021) just wrapped up a mission to donate as much money as they could to the Semper Fi fund. The Semper Fi fund (one of only two veteran non-profits with an A+ rating given by Charity Watch) is dedicated to providing immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. One hundred percent of the money Annalise and Jack raise will go to this cause. As of October 16th, they surpassed their $3,000 goal, coming in at just under $3,550. This doubled last year’s total. How about them apples?
With most recipes calling for two to three pounds of apples per pie you have to wonder where many of the apples came from, and the answer is Patterson Fruit Farms, a popular year-round farm market and special events center located in Chesterland (44026). Many others have supported the cause through the purchase of pies and direct donations, making this a sure-fire success story from the start.
These two little apples didn’t fall far from the tree however, considering mom and dad have done their fair share of giving back to the community. Christian Klein (dad) is a volunteer Firefighter/EMT for both Hamden and Middlefield, has served as director of Geauga Growth Partnership, is a graduate of Leadership Geauga (Class of 2011) and served as trustee. He is also the president of Company 119, a locally owned and operated digital marketing and web design firm. Rebecca Klein (mom) is also a graduate of Leadership Geauga (Class of 2014, well-known as the best class), as well as serving as trustee, works for Geauga County Sheriff’s Dept., and actively runs in several marathons across the country to raise awareness for our armed forces, specifically as a member of the Semper Fi Marine Corps Marathon team.
Although the time has come for the Klein’s to clean up the kitchen, toss the apple peels, and head to Washington D.C. to deliver the money, the need to donate never ends. They ask that you please visit www.semperfifund.org, and donate what you can to help those who have served our country. Remember, next year when you are in the market for an apple pie (or ten) don’t forget that Annalise and Jack will be baking away.