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Arts / Culture

Savannah's Soldiers Founder Makes Her Way to Tampa

Savannah-Maddison_poster.jpg
westonvida.com

Twelve-year-old Florida singer-songwriter Savannah Maddison has become a national icon after founding a national letter-writing campaign for soldiers serving overseas. And she'll be in Tampa over the weekend.

Maddison was inspired to start her Savannah's Soldiers initiative after her friend's father was deployed to Afghanistan, stating that she had a broken heart after hearing the news. In a YouTube video, she expressed her sentiment:

"I couldn't imagine my mom or dad leaving for a year," she said. "I wrote a song for my best friend about deployment and being brave, but, most importantly, about knowing that you have a friend that you can count on."

Her spokesman, Jim Holben, says the program has had a big impact.

"She sent over 50,000 letters to soldiers," he said. "Her next round is to get to 100,000. I mean, it's touched a lot of people already in over a year and a half. She hopes to get to 100,000 and see where it goes from there."

Maddison writes on her website, "We need to support our troops even if just with a letter. We need to let them know that we support them and are thankful for their service to our wonderful country."

Maddison will be performing the National Anthem at the USF women's basketball Military Appreciation game on Sunday at 2 p.m. There will be a table set up for fans to write letters to soldiers.