To the editor:
On Dec. 2, more than 500 Fort Dodge children and families kicked off the holiday season by participating in the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance's annual "Holiday on Central" at the Trolley Center. This year marked the 23rd consecutive holiday celebration, and though the name has changed from time to time over the years, the purpose has always been the same - to provide a free event for children and families so that they may enjoy a night of wholesome fun and entertainment in downtown Fort Dodge.
To offer a celebration of this size and scope free of charge requires significant support from our business community and from civic organizations. Special thanks to the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District for its grant to help underwrite the event. Great Western Bank was a sponsor and helped defray the cost of our food expenses. The Fort Dodge Lions Club once again made sure everyone had hot cocoa, cider, and cookies; and provided more than 30 volunteers to help serve. Speaking of volunteers - approximately 80 volunteers helped with the event including 50 cheerleaders from Fort Dodge Senior High who cheered Santa as he arrived on the fire truck, helped with cookie decorating and face painting, and even led an impromptu caroling sing-along. Others who made the event possible with either in-kind donations or volunteers included: Becker Florist, Fort Dodge Ford, Bloomers, Olde Boston's, Zakeers, Candies and More, Fort Dodge Parks and Recreation, Fort Dodge Fire Department, the Clapp Family, Frontier Communications, Fort Dodge Senior High and Saint Edmond choirs, and Cargill.
And most importantly I want to thank Heartland Communications - who provided the Trolley Center at no charge to us and allowed this outstanding facility to become Fort Dodge's Christmas Village for an evening. Steve Asche, the Trolley Center's facility manager was amazing to work with.
The Growth Alliance is grateful to all who made this event possible and with every successful endeavor there is a hard working organizing committee behind the scenes. This year's Holiday on Central Committee deserves thanks and praise. So thank you to Dee Clapp, Ryan Maehl, Susan Gill, Mike Mulroney, Terry Cook, Jeff Becker, Steve Mattke, and Nancy Nevins for all your hard work, dedication and passion.
The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Community Development director, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance