The halls were decked, the stockings were hung and there was plenty of holiday spirit as the Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes staff celebrated the holidays with residents by bringing Santa Claus himself right to their doorstep.
Santa and his helpers began their weeklong visit to Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes with the 7th annual "Here Comes Santa" event, held Dec. 6. The "Man in Red" made his way through the streets of Mountain Community Homes, just a couple of weeks before Christmas, to spend one-on-one time with the Families of Fort Drum. Despite the frigid temperatures, residents came out in numbers for some last-minute photo opportunities and a chance to give Santa their Christmas wish list requests.
Both the Fort Drum Fire Department and Fort Drum Military Police partnered with Mountain Community Homes' staff members to accompany Santa through each of his stops, using the lights and sirens of their emergency vehicles to make sure that all of the children knew he was in town. He even took some extra time out to sign a cast of one child who recently was released from the hospital.
"This event is one of the favorites each year for the staff of Mountain Community Homes,” said Charity Tripp, events coordinator. “To know that we are creating childhood memories and bringing smiles to children's faces truly brings out the holiday spirit in everyone."
During the following week, residents had an opportunity to visit one of the four community centers on Fort Drum to meet with Santa again during the first Cookies with Santa event. Using the community centers as a wintery backdrop, residents could take photos with "the Big Guy" without the hustle and bustle of last-minute Christmas shoppers.
However, Santa wasn't the only one visiting from the North Pole. Mrs. Claus was in attendance, serving up hot chocolate and cookies to Families while elves handed out goody bags to all of the children who came to visit.
"I can't even express how great of a time my daughter had visiting with Santa at the Christmas event,” said Ladayshia Parker, Rhicard Hills resident. “She didn't even want to come home. It's so amazing to be able to have these experiences with our children right here in our community."
Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes strives to make each holiday one to remember for all of their Families.
Fort Drum Mountain