American Legion preps for annual children's Christmas party

The American Legion’s Christmas party for children, now in its 13th year, came from a suggestion by Marilyn Mork’s daughter, Jenny, after they had attended a Christmas party for kids in town.

“They had a party which was like, hot dogs and hot cocoa or something like that,” Mork said. “Santa was there, and they all got to see Santa, and got a candy cane, and an orange or apple or something. And that was it.”

Afterward, Mork remembered her daughter’s suggestion. “Jenny said, ‘Wouldn’t be awesome if we could … give them a gift?’”

While the party started small, it has grown over the past decade, so much so that the festivities have split into two events, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon, scheduled this year for Saturday, Dec. 16. That allows people to select which party better fits their schedule and make plans.

As in previous years, Mork will send out letters to various organizations to request donations. “Alaska Marine Lines and Samson (Tug and Barge) have both donated cargo for us in the past,” Mork said.

She said Andrew Zeutzius would likely return as Santa Claus this year, although it hasn’t been confirmed.

In addition to the children’s party, the Legion also organizes Christmas events for seniors and veterans in the area. “Those are our three big Christmas-time projects that we do,” Mork said.

In addition to donating some of her own money for these events, Mork also donates much of her time and welcomes other volunteers. “So, if anyone wants to help with any of these programs, any of them, we would love to have some extra help.”

She said there are many ways that volunteers can provide services, but the most important is deliveries, which take up much of her time and effort.

The Legion’s annual children’s Christmas party will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 16 in the American Legion Hall. Children must attend to receive their gift. For more information and to provide children’s names, ages, gender, parents’ names and gift ideas, contact Mork at 907-470-0085.


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