FORT CARSON, Colo. - The Fort Carson's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Tree Lighting Ceremony took place at the William "Bill" Reed Special Events Center on Fort Carson, December 6, 2018.
"There's a lot of people who have passion for the Soldiers on this post," said Corey Crisostomo, a member of the DFMWR event staff.
Crisostomo was stationed at Fort Carson from 2011 to 2015. After leaving the military, Crisostomo returned to Colorado and began working for DFMWR.
The annual event included activities for children, a winter gear and apparel sale, a tree lighting ceremony, and photos with Santa. Children also had the opportunity to make and decorate holiday cards for Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division who are deployed during the holiday season.
"As a Soldier, you really don't know how much effort people put into these events," said Crisostomo. "I really never knew how much people cared. Seeing how much support has come for this event, to put something on that's great for people -- it's incredible."
The tree outside the SEC was lit by Fort Carson's garrison commander, Col. Brian K. Wortinger and Charles Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge.
"It just warms my heart to see so many people come out and enjoy what our team has put together," said Wortinger.
Members of the 4th Infantry Division Band brass quartet played "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as Santa arrived at the event in a shiny, red car, instead of his customary sleigh.
Soldiers, families and guests also enjoyed food, music, dancing at the event.
"It makes me feel like we're making an impact and a difference for the kids during the holiday season," said Kenyatta L. Mack, the Fort Carson garrison command sergeant major.
"Colorado is a beautiful place and we have a great relationship with the community," said Mack.
Mack said his favorite part of this event was seeing children get their photos taken with Santa.
"When we see the abundance of people coming out in this cold weather, to allow their kids to fall into the holiday spirit, it is amazing," said Mack.