Boy Raises Money to Buy Gum for Soldiers - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Boy Raises Money to Buy Gum for Soldiers

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CLARKSBURG -

Ben Hinkle isn't your typical nine-year-old boy. 

For the last three years, he has been raising money to buy Jolt Energy Gum to send to soldiers overseas.  The idea came to him when he was in a Dollar General and saw the Jolt Gum. 

He sent one pack over three years ago and the response was unexpected. 

"I thought at first, ‘a pack of gum that's not much.' But the response from it was just unbelievably overwhelming," said Brenda Hinkle, Ben's Mom.

Because of this first pack of gum, Hinkle became friends with a soldier who contacted him after receiving the gum.  Chris Crispen was stationed in Afghanistan at the time, and he and Hinkle have become close friends ever since. 

Jolt Energy Gum has been very supportive of Hinkle and his project; they match the amount of money he raises each year.  This year's goal was $1000, which he surpassed by $200 by 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Clarksburg VFW where he was holding a fundraiser.  Hinkle was at $900 raised when the VFW donated an additional $100 to help him reach his goal.

According to Hinkle, the Jolt Gum keeps the soldiers safe overseas.

"It helps to keep them awake at their night shifts" said Hinkle. 

After the fundraiser on Sunday, the total raised was at $1500, and Hinkle isn't stopping until November 1.   The Hinkle's already have offers for fundraisers starting next spring.