The Northwest Illinois Chapter of Operation Homefront has launched its Operation Softball program. From the website: "The original goal was to collect 1,016 softballs to build a pyramid of support for our soldiers. For months, softballs were distributed to area businesses, churches, and schools for people to sign and write words of support for our troops. Because of the tremendous outpouring of support, the program has been continued through April 15, 2006 and extended to the national level. The goal has now been raised to collect 10,000 softballs and baseballs for our soldiers.” Signed balls can be mailed to: Operation Homefront, 1204 South Maple, Freeport, IL, 61032. For more information, contact Mike Brinkmeier at (815) 579-8436.