Although Jack Frost may not nip your nose in Yuma, Ariz. during December, the spirit of Christmas warms up for the Marines, Sailors and their families at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Nov. 30.
Station families gathered at the Marine Corps Exchange to kick off the holiday season at the third annual “All Wrapped Up” Christmas event hosted by Marine Corps Community Services.
“This gives MCCS a great opportunity to give our thanks and serve our Marines and Sailors on station,” said Mark Gongaware, MCCS business operation director and a native of Cloves, N.M.
MCCS and the exchange are no strangers to this event; it has been a MCAS Yuma tradition for more than a decade.
“It has been going for the last 15 years in one form or fashion, but in its current state the last 3 years,” said Gongaware.
“Also, it used to be a MCX retail event that the store did, but it has grown over the last couple years and has expanded to most of the MCCS support divisions on base,” he added.
The event began with season greetings and remarks from Col. Robert Kuckuk, the station commanding officer. Following his remarks, he and the children in attendance gathered around for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
With the ceremony being only the beginning of the festivities, there were many other events both kids and adults participated in.
“There is so much here for the families to do,” said Gongaware. “We have free food sampling from station food venues, inflatable bouncy houses, free photos with Santa and a ton of other events.”
Support did not just come from within in the station but from local organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8242, who showed their holiday spirit by donating bikes for the raffle drawing.
Cpl. Christopher Diaz, like many of the other Marines there, was grateful for MCCS to host such an event.
“It shows the Christmas spirit and taking care of the family,” said Diaz, a Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 bulk fuel specialist and a native of New York City. “There are not a lot of events around Yuma that do this kind of stuff. I hope they keep doing more like it.”
As MCAS Yuma’s festive event wrapped up, those in attendance left with a sense of community and loads of ho, ho, ho holiday spirit