Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Santa Claus visits Schriever’s holiday festival

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes Kirstin Gies, 13 months, poses for a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the annual Children’s Holiday Festival Saturday, at the fitness center here. The event also featured Frosty, Rudolph, various games, free food, prizes, face painting and more. In keeping with the tradition, the 50th Force Support Squadron and volunteers transformed the fitness center into a holiday land.

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
Kirstin Gies, 13 months, poses for a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the annual Children’s Holiday Festival Saturday, at the fitness center here. The event also featured Frosty, Rudolph, various games, free food, prizes, face painting and more. In keeping with the tradition, the 50th Force Support Squadron and volunteers transformed the fitness center into a holiday land.

By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The 50th Force Support Squadron hosted the annual Children’s Holiday Festival Dec. 7 at the fitness center here.

The highlight of the festival was Santa and Mrs. Claus taking their time for photos with the children and grownups alike.

“The holiday festival went well,” said Karen Draper, 50 FSS Sustainment Services Flight chief. “We had more than 850 Schriever members attend the event and more than 50 volunteers from the base. Though the weather was really cold, we still had a good turnout.”

In addition to the Clauses, the event also featured Frosty, Rudolph, various games, free food, prizes, face painting and more. In keeping with the tradition, the 50 FSS and volunteers transformed the fitness center into a holiday land.

“It was a good chance for the families to get out and have fun,” said Draper. “It’s free and it included a meal. We funded this through our sponsorship dollars. So it didn’t come out of base money. It’s just a good chance for families to come out. It’s fun and free and they got a chance to win prizes. They gave away game consoles and various family fun packs.”

Raife Samsel, Master Sgt. Carina Samsel’s son, said he enjoyed the festival and looked forward to doing it again next year.

“My favorite part was the games because they had prizes and made you have fun,” Raife said.

Jaliah King, daughter of Army Staff Sgt. Justin King, echoed the sentiment.

“I love the face painting because they made my face colorful with those paints,” Jaliah said.

As a parent, Staff Sgt. Abbey Oladiti, 50th Comptroller Squadron, said he had a few reservations about it at first because of the weather but he was glad he took his family to the festival.

“The Children Holiday Festival was awesome, definitely a great success,” he said. “I think the festival is very important because we sometimes lose sight of what resources are available to us. I see it as a way to come out and spend time with family and they get to see where we work and understand the support that the military family provides. Lastly and most important point is, it was all free.”

Col. Brian Barthel, 50th Mission Support Group commander, thanked everyone who worked to make the holiday festival a success, especially the sponsors and volunteers.

“Thank you for what you do every day to make Schriever a better place to work, play, live and grow,” Barthel said. “You never cease to amaze me. The attention to detail with the decorations, costumes and prizes was phenomenal. I want to say thanks to all the folks who helped with the setup, execution and tear down, all of which were fluid. Lastly, it was great to see family members in support of the event. Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.”

The 50 FSS officials encourage Team Schriever to come and join another fun event April 12 for the Spring Fling. For more information, call Mary Barkley at 567-5464.

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