PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- More than 800 USS Nassau (LHA 4) "Top Gator" Sailors and their guests gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth, Va., on Dec. 8 for the Nassau Holiday Party.
Participants dressed up for the occasion and enjoyed an ornately decorated banquet hall, a catered buffet and a disc jockey. Sponsored by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Division, there were several door prizes totaling nearly $10,000.
Planning for the event began in May and according to the event coordinator and Nassau's Fun Boss, Master Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (AW/SW) Amos Harvey, the success of this holiday party was important to many Sailors.
"I hope that everyone enjoyed the evening and had a great time because a lot of hard work went into this event," he said. "There was a lot of time and energy put into planning and seeing this through by many of the ship's crew."
Due to her deployment in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations, Nassau Sailors found themselves unable to have a holiday party. However, this year according to Harvey, Top Gator Sailors went all out.
"MWR spent approximately $67,000 on venue rental costs, caterers, the disc jockey and other support required to host the event," he said. "All the door prizes that were awarded, from the iPODs, digital cameras, PlayStation consoles, to the portable DVD players, flat screen televisions to the plasma, we spent nearly $10,000 in door prizes for our Sailors."
The grand prize drawing for the 50-inch high-definition television was sure to make any Top Gator Sailor's night.
"I felt very happy winning a great gift for my family," said Senior Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Meridie Locklear, leading chief petty officer of the Security Department and winner of the grand prize. "This holiday party was the best I've ever attended in my Naval career."
In another huge surprise of the night, Nassau's commanding officer, Capt. John E. Roberti, promoted several Sailors under the Command Advancement Program (CAP).
"I was shocked, but well pleased to find out we made the cut," said Deck Department's Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class (SW) Dion Frazier.
For related news, visit the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.