Santa Comes to the 3-304th
02/22/2020 | By Captain Julie Rand
Children of 3-304 soldiers surrounding Santa at a unit holiday party, 7 Dec 2019, Auburn, Maine.
The Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) and Bravo Company, 3-304th in Saco, Maine recently celebrated the holidays with a celebration for Soldiers and their Families organized by the Soldier Family Readiness Group (SFRG). The event was well attended with nearly 130 Soldiers and their Families joining the celebration along with the 3-304th’s Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Andrew Craven. Longhorn Steakhouse in Auburn, Maine donated the feast for the party which featured steak tips and chicken along with side dishes of potatoes, broccoli and rolls. Additionally, spaghetti and sauce were provided by Paula Cummins, SFRG Treasurer.
Mrs. Cummins and her husband, Master Sgt. Billy Cummins of B Company, 3-304th were instrumental in gathering items for 50 large children’s gift bags loaded with fun toys for the kids. Also, Ms. Blackwood, SFRG volunteer, offered customized t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, luggage tags and many more items for purchase with the unit’s logo. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the 3-304th SFRG program. Over 25 gift baskets were provided by Soldiers of HHD and B Company and several raffle items were donated by Soldiers which generated nearly $1500 for future 3-304th SFRG events.
Activities were provided for the children such as decorating gingerbread cookies and coloring in donated coloring books. Santa also made an appearance at the party and talked with nearly 50 children as they sat on his lap and told him their Christmas wish list.
The usage of the venue, VFW Post 1603 in Auburn, Maine, was generously donated by the Post Commander, Sgt. 1st Class Ozzie Reichardt, a B Company Soldier. B Company Commander, Captain Julie Rand, was presented with a Certificate of Adoption from Sgt. 1st Class Reichardt solidifying the VFW’s commitment to the unit. This celebration allowed Soldiers and families to come together during this busy time of year to connect and have enjoyed each other’s company outside of traditional battle assemblies. The 3-304th SFRG is committed to their Soldiers and Families and is looking forward to their next family event this summer.
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