By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Indra Bosko
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Sailors from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet and USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) put together a children’s Christmas party at The Sullivans Elementary School on Commander, Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka, Dec. 6.
The celebration was hosted by the 7th Fleet/ Blue Ridge First Class Petty Officers Association (FCPOA) and included a visit from Santa Claus, a bounce house, carnival games, music and a full spread of food.
“It’s a great way to bring the commands’ families together to enjoy the spirit of the holidays,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Jessica Lorenzi, FCPOA president. “It’s nice that parents didn’t have to do anything but enjoy time with their children.”
An arts and crafts table themed “Why I Love Japan” was set up for families to share their appreciation for Japan by making green clay Christmas trees, which will be showcased at the upcoming FLEACT, Yokosuka Festival of Trees, a tree-decorating contest between the commands based at FLEACT, Yokosuka.
More than 150 children lined up to pose for pictures with Santa and to receive a gift.
“It’s pretty fun to see everybody happy,” said Blue Ridge volunteer Seaman Martin Gomez. “The best part of the day was watching the reactions on the children’s faces when they saw Santa.”
At the event’s conclusion, volunteers went on stage with Santa to take a group photo and were given an applause from the parents and children for their hard work.
“I loved it!” said Chief Yeoman Classie Mejia from Commander Naval Forces Japan. “It was a great way to get out and let the kids spend time with each other and their parents.”
Like many parents, Mejia said she looks forward to next year’s children’s Christmas party.
“This was my second year,” said Mejia. “Every year the kids show up and have a good time.”