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185th Holiday Project

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Oscar Sanchez
  • 185ARW
Traditional and full-time members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing, Iowa Air National Guard, Sioux City, Iowa volunteered to spread Christmas cheer to over 160 residents at the Prime Assisted Living Apartments in downtown Sioux City and the Country Side Senior Living Apartments in Morningside on Thursday, December 20, 2007.

Members of the 185th helped spread the Christmas cheer by singing Christmas song favorites like Jingle Bells and the twelve days of Christmas, while residents and staff alike joined in. Some of the people at the homes do not have anyone to visit them over the holiday season, and they really enjoyed joining along in the singing, said the "lead elf" Senior Master Sgt. Connie Miller of the 185th Intelligence Office.

The 185th raised over four thousand dollars at various base fundraisers including a Holiday bake sale, chili cook off, and other fund raising venues around the base over the past few months. The money raised was used to purchase individual Christmas gifts for those living in the assisted living centers. In addition, the Prime Assisted Living Apartments received a brand new popcorn maker and the Countryside Senior Living Apartments received four DVD players.

Members of the 185th also joined those at the homes in conversation, card games, and a game of bingo, the anticipated favorite of the residents. Santa Claus (played by Capt. Jeff Finken of Supply and retired Col. Larry Harrington) made a surprise visit to each of the homes passing out presents and kindness with there "ho, ho, ho's and Merry Christmas to all!"

The efforts were greatly appreciated by those in the homes. "More than anything, the elderly folks truly appreciated having members in uniform come in and spend time with them," said Miller. "Some of the elderly men enjoyed talking about their own personal experiences in the military."