|Santa Claus, live reindeer, Christmas trees, a youth
choir and members of the Fort McCoy community gathered Nov. 29 to help
kick off the holiday season at Fort McCoy with the annual Tree Lighting
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott and Garrison
Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Bill Bissonette conducted the
ceremonial tree lighting at McCoy’s. Two youth whose fathers are with
the 181st Infantry Brigade and deployed to Afghanistan helped with the
Tree Lighting event.
Many of the other activities were aimed at youth as well. They could pet
and interact with three reindeer that accompanied Santa Claus to the
event. Jobi Spolum, Fort McCoy Marketing Office director, said it was
the first time in three years reindeer were present.
Youth could have their photos taken with Santa Claus and the reindeer.
Kids crafts and activities, a Santa’s Gift Shop for youth to get
presents for their parents, and a youth choir were other highlights. The
choir was comprised of youth from the Fort McCoy Child, Youth & School
Services program who sang traditional and modern holiday songs.
Support also was provided by the Fort McCoy Better Opportunities for
Single Soldiers or BOSS program. Members of the program strung tree
lights as a new activity at the Main Gate and at Constitution Park. The
trees were illuminated for the Nov. 29 event and also will be
illuminated at scheduled times daily throughout the holiday season.
The Tree Lighting is one of many Directorate of Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) events that show the commitment the Army
has made to the Army Family Covenant, Spolum said. Members of the public
also could attend and interact with their Fort McCoy community
counterparts to welcome the holiday season and support the Army
Sponsors of the event included the Fort McCoy Exchange, USAA, CASE
Construction, First Bank, Allied American University, Build-A-Bear
Workshop, Knuckleheads, Texas Roadhouse, Pepsi Cola Bottling of La
Crosse, Wal-Mart DC 6085 and Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park. No federal
endorsement is implied.
For more information about Fort McCoy DFMWR events, visit the website
https://www.facebook.com/mccoymwr or call the events hotline at
608-388-7400 or toll-free at 877-864-4969.