Camp Alliance Hosts Annual ‘Veterans Night Of Holiday Giving’

ROGERS (KFSM) -- Local heroes were honored Friday (Dec. 15) for all they do and have done for our country.

Hundreds of people came out to Pinnacle Hills Promenade for Camp Alliance`s 'Veterans Night of Holiday Giving'. The event was for military members, veterans and their families.

“I`ve been in the National Guard here for about eight years. It`s a great thing that I like to do. It gives me a sense of worth bigger than myself,” Cody Patterson said.

Their children along with more than 200 others were nominated to be on the Silver Star Gift Tree, which is similar to the Angel Tree. The Pattersons received their gifts Friday, and said they'll place them under their Christmas tree.

“It`s such a blessing that they are able to do this for our family. It feels like all the hard work he puts in throughout the year, (and) it`s a little appreciation,” Rachel Patterson said.

Camp Alliance Executive Director Jody Bergstrom, who is also a military member, said it`s great to be able to give back.

Bergstrom said community members and local businesses came together to make the event happen.

"I can`t thank them enough to all of them. It`s great to see the community to show up and give love back to the that serve in the community,” Bergstrom added.

Veteran Donald Carter said although their nine grandchildren weren`t on the tree, they were able to pick out some toys along with products for themselves donated by vendors.

“You’d be surprised at stores and people that donate just so veterans can have a happy holiday, and we really appreciate it, too. I mean you can ask any of them and they`ll all say the same thing. From the bottom of our heart we appreciate...  what the people do for our veterans,” Carter said.

More than 50 retailers at the promenade offered discounts to those veterans and their families.

Anyone interested in assisting military members, veterans and their families, is encouraged to visit the Silver Star Freedom express gift wrapping service at the promenade. There, Christmas presents are wrapped in return for a small donation toward the cause.