U.S. soldiers in Iraq received some thoughtful gifts from staff and clients of

Devereux Whitlock

this year, especially PA Boy Scout Troop 387, and sent back a keepsake from the Middle East in return. Devereux Whitlock, in Berwyn, specializes in services for adults with mental disabilities and/or mental-health disorders.

Donna Dewbrew, whose son Spec. Steve Dewbrew has been stationed in Iraq since November 2006, started working in Devereux's human resources department in July. Her coworkers decided that Dewbrew's son and the rest of his company could use some things from back home, so they enlisted the help of Troop 387, adult scouts who are clients at Devereux.

The scouts collected hygiene supplies, candy, cookies, books, magazines and more, and sent a package to Mosul, Iraq, late last summer. About a month ago, they received something from the Middle East, an Operation Iraqi Freedom flag signed by the members of D Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Cavalry.

"It really touched my heart," Donna Dewbrew said. "These people here at Devereux, they just picked up the ball and ran with it. . . . It's a really good feeling." Dewbrew said her son is due home between Monday and Jan. 4. Troop 387 sent another, more Christmas-themed care package to Mosul earlier this month.

The

Owen J. Roberts

Wildcat, the school mascot, teamed up with Villanova University's Wildcat to help celebrate

High School Musical: The Ice Tour

night at the Wachovia Center on Dec. 7, during the 76ers game against the Knicks.

The team mascot in the popular Disney Channel

High School Musical

movies is a wildcat, prompting the invitation to both the 'Nova and Owen J. mascots to head to South Philly. Both mascots hung out with fans on the concourse level before the game, and helped the Sixers' mascot, Hip-Hop, throw T-shirts and tickets to the ice show into the stands during the game. The ice tour will be at the Wachovia Center from Dec. 28 through Jan. 6.

The choice of a Sixers-Knicks game for the themed night was prompted by the lyrics of the song "Work This Out" in

High School Musical

, which includes the line "Get tickets to the Knicks and Sixers." Perhaps aided by the extra support from two more mascots, the Sixers ended a three-game losing streak, beating the Knicks by 101-90.

- Will Hobson