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Posted: December 6, 2017 4:13 p.m.
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Stewart celebrates with Tree Lighting

Spc. Noelle Wiehe/

Isabella Adams visits an inflattable Santa Claus dog set up around the Christmas tree at Club Stewart for the Fort Stewart Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 5. Nearly 1,000 Soldiers and their Families visited the event.

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Soldiers and Family Members helped to make the season bright by gathering at the annual Fort Stewart Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 5 at Club Stewart. 

“It’s a fun night; it is short but sweet – just a little kickoff to the holiday season,” said Dov Estroff, special event coordinator with Morale, Welfare and Recreation. 

The event featured Christmas carols lead by elves and the Liberty County High School Chorus, the official lighting of the Club Stewart Christmas tree and a visit from Santa Claus. 

Nearly 1,000 attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favorite gingerbread house built by Families Nov. 4 during a gingerbread house project event. The winner was announced on the MWR Facebook page and received a paid vacation to Tybee Island, Georgia.

Children enjoyed train rides, wrote letters to Santa and stowed them away in red mailboxes for shipment to the North Pole. 

“I think it helps set the tone for the season,” Estroff said. 

Vendors at the event included Veterans United, Coldwell Banker, Smile Doctors, IHG Army Hotels, 912 Living, J.C. Lewis Ford, Armed Forces Benefits Network, GeoVista Credit Union, and Xfinity and offered activities for children and their Families at booths during the event. 

Col. Jason A. Wolter, garrison commander, thanked the vendors for their support, not only during the holiday season but all year round. 

“We are truly grateful for your service and support for those who answer our nation’s call,” Wolter said. 

Staff Sgt. Kayla Williams, Medical Department Activity, said her children were excited to see Santa Claus, the blowup reindeer and enjoyed the train ride. 

Williams said it was important to bring her Family to the event because she wanted to spend time with them celebrating the season and seeing their friends from school. 

“It reminds everybody that the meaning of the season is a time to grow and reflect as individuals and as Families,” Estroff said. “We keep in mind our Soldiers who are not with us because they are deployed to various corners of the world and Families that are still here behind and to look out for each other and be safe during the season.”

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