Video Postcard for Bosnia Is in the Red

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The organizer of a Christmas video postcard for U.S. troops in Bosnia made a plea Thursday for more donations because his project has come up short financially.

Steve Gooden, 28, a minister who runs a youth religious group called the No Compromise Ministries, put together the musical tribute by 700 volunteers at Lake Hills Community Church. The project cost $8,000, he said, but he has raised only about $6,000 to recoup expenses.

Gooden said the hourlong show has been completed and will air as planned Christmas Day on the Armed Forces Network.

Some early pledges of support fizzled because the would-be donors decided the project was political, Gooden said.

"This isn't about Democrats or Republicans," Gooden said Thursday. "Our troops are out there. There is no more noble mission than the . . . mission of peace. People are forgetting the human interest and focusing on the political debate," he said.

"I would like to get people in Orange County who really believe in this project," he added. "This is the only production that the troops are going to see on Christmas morning in Tuzla."

Gooden said he personally is short about $500, and much of the rest is owed to a Santa Ana video production company, he said.

Gooden said he came up with the idea for the video after learning his brother, stationed at a military base in Turkey, could not come home for Christmas because of the Bosnia campaign.

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