SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- (NNS) -- Navy Region Southwest's (NRSW) First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) helped bring in the holidays this year with their 3rd Annual Children's Holiday Party, Dec. 12.
For many of the members of the FCPOA, being able to provide a fun Saturday for Sailors and their families was well worth the hard work.
"It's important we do this because it's our opportunity to give back to the command," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Reynaldo Acunapereyra, the president of the FCPOA. "It's something they can take away from work, coming out here on the weekend and spending time with their children and have some fun family time."
This year, more than 35 children spent their morning and early afternoon enjoying different activities including arts and crafts, interactive video games, piñatas and a jumping balloon. Members of the FCPOA also donated to the party by putting together a large setup of food, drinks and treats.
The lively party was also given a special visit by a familiar man in a red suit. After sitting on Santa's lap, children were given stockings filled with gifts which were donated by the Dollar Tree.
Among the families present was Master-at-Arms 1st Class Christopher Hope, also a member of the FCPOA, his wife Christina and their daughter Autumn.
For Hope, this year's party was not only an opportunity to celebrate the children of NRSW, but also to spend time with his family, who he only sees during the weekends.
"It's like world's colliding," said Hope. "This is the first time everyone has been able to meet my wife. I spend more time at work than I get to with my family so it's really nice to have everyone here together."
For Acunapereyra and the other FCPOA members, being able to contribute to the children's holiday memories made all the hard work well worth it.
"Throughout the year we hold fundraisers to help pay for our events," said Acunapereyra. "This year we did a chili sale and we were able to use that money to fund this party. We also got donations from the Chief's mess and the Ward Room. This is an event that the first class' look forward to and are excited to do every year."
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Southwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrsw/.