The Christmas spirit was evident Nov. 20 as the Signal Corps Band played holiday tunes and two choruses sang carols during the annual opening ceremony of the Christmas House.
For Brig. Gen. Randolph P. Strong, Fort Gordon's commanding general, few events signal the beginning of the holiday season like this ceremony.
"Efforts such as this make Fort Gordon truly such a special place," he said.
Forty years ago, a group of nurses at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center provided teddy bears to the children of soldiers during Christmas.
The tradition of providing for children of service members continued as soldiers and civilians brought checks to the open house.
"The generosity and goodness of this effort has grown," Strong said.
Last year, Christmas House provided gifts to more than 800 children and gave more than 300 commissary gift certificates to families for a holiday meal.
"Christmas House depends on community donations," he said.
Not only does Christmas House need donations but it also needs the support of the volunteers who buy toys and stock shelves.
"Christmas House always depends on the involvement of volunteers," said Lynn Harshman, the Christmas House coordinator.
In honor of the 40th anniversary, Harshman recognized several volunteers for their generosity - Susie Waldman, Eva Maria Proudfit, Kathi Pope, Marilyn and Pete Farrell, Thom Tuckey, Nancy Moore and Judy and Ron Seger.
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