Keiki Winter Wonderland brings snowball fight to Tripler
December 22, 2011
TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii -- The Keiki Winter Wonderland took over the Tripler Army Medical Center track Dec. 10.
The event, which was a collaborative effort by Troop Command's Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Company Family Readiness Groups; Troop Command leadership and staff; the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club; and numerous volunteers, dominated the TAMC track from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The winter wonderland, which was free to attend, featured 14 tons of snow, carnival rides, bounce houses, an arts and crafts tent, a children's train ride, a games tent, and, of course, Santa himself.
Despite the unpredictable rain showers, the atmosphere at the event was lively and Christmas music filled the air. Families were lined up for rides, crafts, games, food, and to have their picture taken with Santa. When attendees walked on the track field they could hear the laughter coming from the snow-covered hillside.
Janell Dugger, family member, whose husband, Staff Sgt. Askia Dugger, is currently serving with 2nd Battalion, 35 Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, in Afghanistan, brought her two daughters, Kylynn, 3, and Nevaeh, 1, to the wonderland.
"It is always nice to be able to come to events that are organized just for the children," said Dugger.
Dugger said even though her daughters weren't daring enough to brave the snowy hillside, they enjoyed the event and look forward to next year.
This annual event has been held inside the hospital the past few years, but the committee all agreed that they needed to take the wonderland outdoors.
A lot of fundraising and volunteer hours went into the planning of the event, said Staff Sgt. Casey Carr, planning committee. She said, after all the hard work that everyone put forth, she is thrilled that it received such a great response from the attendees.
Capt. Marie Cabel, commander, Company A, Troop Command, couldn't be more proud of what the planning committee and volunteers accomplished.
"I am so honored and proud to be surrounded with such benevolent people who dedicated their time and energy to an event like this," said Cabel. "We received a lot of positive feedback from participants and staff."