Marquette, MI –December 22, 2017 – Christmas is for Veterans was better than ever this year with an impressive amount of donations. Great Lakes Radio staff was floored by the community’s generosity. We asked our listeners to bring gifts of comfort for our veterans and people certainly did not hold back! We packed up our slay this morning and moved gifts over to the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans to get set up for the days’ activities.
Picking up around 1pm, veterans and family members gathered to comb through the tables. Each table was covered with all sorts of items from the wish list, plus few extras! Veterans picked through the tables choosing from an assortment of clothing, toiletries, and entertainment items. Donations included everything from Michael Kors clothing, Croft & Barrow flannel shirts, sweatpants, Packers gear, and winter jackets. Some people donated brand new watches, decks of cards, books, and some extremely soft pajama pants!
Once the vets had taken their stroll past the tables, everyone took a seat to enjoy what else the afternoon had to offer. The Sunny Girls joined us to put on a holiday show leading the crowd in some Christmas carol favorites. Carrying us through carols like “Rudolph the Red-noised Reindeer” and “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”, even I was singing along with the Sunny Girls! Usually dressed in yellow to bring the “sunny” to the show, this performance had the ladies dressed up in red and radiating holiday cheer.
A few songs in we were joined by Santa Claus! Moving from table to table, Santa handed veterans special Christmas ornaments and even gave out a few hugs to our heroes of war. Entering to the tune of “Frosty the Snowman” shortly after Santa’s appearance, Frosty came in to dance around and greet people in the crowd.
After a few more songs the ladies took a break and the Sunny Girls’ accordion player, Renee, went to pay her respects. She moved from the front of the room to chat with one of the vets in the crowd. The two had gone to high school together before he shipped out, so she took a moment to thank him for his service and reflect.
Each year Great Lakes Radio participates in the Christmas is for Veterans. We help raise awareness for the event and drive people to various local businesses to make donations for the big holiday party. While the donations are a big part, Christmas is for Veterans is about giving our local heroes the respect they deserve and remembering those who were lost. It’s about giving people a chance to reconnect during the holidays and maybe when it’s all said and done, leave a little better off than when they came, and certainly with a bit more holiday spirit.
Check out photos from the 2017 Christmas is for Veterans event below. If you’re interesting in seeing pictures from previous years, check out our photo archive.