KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE --
Free Christmas trees, visits with Santa, raffles, crafts, games, and a buffet lunch wrapped up a busy Saturday afternoon at the Mountain View Club on Dec. 7, 2019.
The festivities began outside the club with members of Team Kirtland picking out free Christmas trees donated by Trees for Troops. The program has delivered over 225,000 trees to service members over the past 14 years, and continues to be a Kirtland tradition.
Inside the club, Santa Claus sat near the fireplace visiting with all the children in attendance. Every space in the club was filled, with everything from a Teddy Mountain teddy bear making station, to “pick and paint” ceramics provided by the Kirtland Arts and Crafts Center, to an indoor archery activity provided by Kirtland Outdoor Recreation and more.
“This is our first time stationed on an Air Force installation,” said Shannon Thompson, a U.S. Army spouse stationed at Kirtland. “I think it’s really awesome that they do all this.”
In another room Dinah Polhemus with the Kirtland Arts and Crafts center, was helping people pick out and paint a ceramic to work on. “This is just a small portion of what we offer at the center,” Polhemus said, she encouraged people to come check out the arts and crafts center for themselves to see everything they have to offer.
The Kirtland Force Support staff was on-hand working to make the event a success.
Barbara Holland, deputy director, and Matt Montano, marketing director, handed out raffle tickets to each person that walked in to be included in drawings for InstaPot’s, gift certificates for the BX and more.
“This entire event would not have happened without her idea” Holland said and she pointed to Amanda Chavez, who was wearing a festive Christmas dress, calling out raffle winners on stage. Chavez is the FSS marketing publicity assistant and graphic designer for the Up Next magazine and FSS website.
“I was the photographer for the photos with Santa last year and I saw everyone just kind of standing there [in a long line] and there wasn’t a whole lot going on other than the pictures with Santa,” said Chavez. “So I thought there needs to be something big!” That’s how the idea for the Jubilee was created.
“It’s a joint effort. It’s all about the team. We had an awesome committee,” said Chavez. “outdoor recreation, bowling, arts and crafts, even housing also helped us get the word out.”
For more information on all the programs FSS offers check out https://kirtlandforcesupport.com/.
More information on the Trees for Troops program can be found at https://christmasspiritfoundation.org/.