MCAS Cherry Point News

 

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Volunteers drag an 11-foot tree into the grass during the annual Trees for Troops event at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Dec. 11, 2014. Trees for Troops is an annual event sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services, The National Christmas Tree Association, The Christmas Spirit Foundation and FedEx to distribute Christmas trees to service members and military families.

Photo by Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics

Trees for Troops spreads Christmas cheer at Cherry Point

12 Dec 2014 | Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Cherry Point’s annual Trees for Troops event provided more than 700 Christmas trees to active-duty, retired and Department of Defense families at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Dec. 11.

According to Beth McKenzie, Trees for Troops, hosted by Marine Corps Community Services in conjunction with The National Christmas Tree Association, The Christmas Spirit Foundation and FedEx, has been providing Christmas trees to Cherry Point families since 2005.

“This year we more than doubled the number of trees we handed out. We received 735 trees for the 2014 Trees for Troops event,” said McKenzie, the marketing director for MCCS.  “Trees can sometimes run up to more than $200 so we’ve been lucky to be with this program for years.”

Service members, families and DOD employees lined up at Hancock Marina hours before the event kicked off to ensure they received a tree. Marine volunteers were on hand to help distribute the trees to families.

“This is just another way for us to show the Marines, Sailors and their families who work here that we appreciate what they do,” said McKenzie. “Live Christmas trees make people happy and they help families create Christmas memories. This program helps keep the spirit of Christmas alive, especially for those families struggling financially or who have loved ones they can’t be with.”

Trees for Troops receives trees donated by Christmas tree farms around the country. The trees are then distributed to active duty service members and their families, said McKenzie.

“My favorite part of this event is seeing the Marines, Sailors and their families so happy when they pick up their free Christmas tree,” said McKenzie.

Marine, Sailor and DOD volunteers unloaded six trailers filled with Christmas trees while anxious recipients waited in line to receive a tree.

“I love doing volunteer work and I think this event is a great way to help out and give back during the holiday season,” said Sgt. Jordan Myles, fuels embarkation chief with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274.

Trees for Troops kick-starts the holiday season and gives Cherry Point families a chance to enjoy the holidays with one less financial burden to worry about, according to Myles.

“It makes me feel good knowing I am helping my fellow Marines, Sailors and their families,” said Myles, a native of Niagara Falls, N.Y. “This event definitely helps raise family’s morale during the holiday season. I hope to see this event continue to grow larger in the future.”


Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point