SASEBO, Japan - Sailors aboard the forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and their families participated in the ship’s Annual Kid’s Christmas Party on Dec. 16.
The party was sponsored by Denver’s First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA), with assistance from the Family Readiness Group (FRG).
The two organizations provided refreshments, a visit from Santa, and a gift for each child at the party. The event was held at the Spare Time Recreation Center, which offered free arcade games, an inflatable bouncy house, bowling, pool, and air hockey to keep the Sailors and their families entertained.
“I liked the bouncy house and air hockey” said five year old Richard Chambers, the son of Fire Controlman 1st Class Ian Chambers.
“We love to be involved with the command” added Desiree Chambers, Richard’s mother, an FRG member herself. “We came out to support the FCPOA, and we also have two kids that wanted to come”.
The pinnacle of the party was a visit from Santa Clause himself, who came with a big red sack of gifts to deliver to each child attending the event with their families.
“It’s great for the kids” stated Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alvin Cotson, one of the people directly responsible for the organization and execution of the event. The annual party is geared toward the children mostly, and the organizers aim to provide a relaxed atmosphere where the top priority is satisfying recreational family time with a Christmas twist for young and old.
“It’s all about that priceless smile on the kids’ faces” Cotson added with a grin.
Denver is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) which reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.