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December 14, 2012

Leisure

Nov. 29 Tree Lighting event brings together McCoy community

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 event.
PHOTO: Youth in the Fort McCoy community interact with a reindeer at the installation Tree Lighting event. Photo by Liz Weaver
Youth in the Fort McCoy community interact with a reindeer at the installation Tree Lighting event.
PHOTO: Youth participate in a craft activity for children during the Fort McCoy Tree Lighting event. Photo by Liz Weaver
Youth participate in a craft activity for children during the Fort McCoy Tree Lighting event.
PHOTO: A youth participates in a ring toss, one of the activities offered at the Fort McCoy Tree Lighting event. Photos by Liz Weaver
A youth participates in a ring toss, one of the activities offered at the Fort McCoy Tree Lighting event.

Photos by Liz Weaver

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 Community Covenant.
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.

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