Employees at Albuquerque's Summit Electric Supply helped make the holidays a little brighter for 150 soldiers serving in Baghdad, Iraq. The employees contributed $2,365 in just five days for the soldiers in A Company, 1st Battalion, from the Army National Guard based in Rio Rancho, N.M.

The money donated was matched by Summit Electric Supply, for a total of $4,730. The donation was used to buy 189 Army Air Force Exchange Services gift cards that the soldiers can use in their base stores.

Andrew Lucero, husband of Summit Electric Supply employee Mary Lucero, credit assistant supervisor, is serving with this unit. He works 12-hour days, six days a week, guarding Iraqi prisoners in a Baghdad jail. “We only hoped to raise $750,” she says. “One person donated $500. It's overwhelming. It's not about the money. My husband said the soldiers will be really excited just to get something from home, and getting support from somebody you don't even know. A lot of them are forgotten, especially at the holidays.”

Andrew Lucero has been in the National Guard for 16 years, three on active duty. He left New Mexico in May and won't return until May 2008. The idea to support the unit first came from one of Mary Lucero's co-workers, Beth Petrey, who suggested the credit department donate money for the cause. But word spread, and Victor R. Jury Jr., the company's president and CEO, said Summit Electric Supply would match whatever was raised. That word went out to all 20 Summit service centers in five states.

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