Santa arrives by F-16

Santa is greeted by a child after he gets out of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet at Hill Air Fore Base for the 388th Fighter Wing holiday party held in Hangar 37 on Dec. 8.
Molly and Meredith Dodge make Christmas cards in the arts and crafts area as they participate in the 388th FW party in Hangar 37 on Dec. 8.
Magician Mike Hamilton presents a stuffed reindeer to Kate Choate as he performs magic at the holiday party held Dec. 8.
By Kim Cook
Hilltop Times Correspondent
December 13, 2012

The skies may have been cloudy and gray over Hill AFB on Dec. 8, but the smiles from many happy children were simply beaming from ear to ear.

The 388th Fighter Wing entertained more than 175 guests at its annual Christmas party in Hanger 37.

Santa arrived in style, in an F-16 escorted by Lt. Col. Henry Rogers. "Santa Steve Brierley" also graciously donated his time, visiting with the children as they patiently waited in line. Santa is the step-father to the 388th Operations Support Squadron Honorary Commander, Karen Von Colln.

The entertainment was nonstop, and Dr. Seuss' "Cat In the Hat," was featured to promote reading and education. Senior Airman Allen Henderson, of the 388th's Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, dressed up as the popular children's book character. A local magician, Mike Hamilton, thrilled the crowd as Santa was en route to Hill AFB. Magician Mike made a white dove and a rabbit appear out of nowhere, pleasing young and old.

Various games and craft activities kept the event alive in the packed hanger. Face painting, cookie decorating, Christmas card making, and a bouncy house, were just a few of the activities the organizers dreamed up.

The event was a group effort led by the 388th FW spouses who help to gather the donations every year. Some of the 388th FW event organizers included Cheryl West, Kristen Klopotek, Katie Harvey and Lynn Sabia. The organizers served as the head elves of the event and volunteered many hours to get it just right for the children.

This will be the Sabia's last Christmas at Hill, and the family is scheduled to PCS this summer to the East Coast.

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