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Naval Academy Midshipmen Spread Holiday Cheer

Posted on: December 14, 2013 08:00 EST by Naval Academy Public Affairs

Naval Academy midshipmen, faculty and staff donated an estimated $12,500 in holiday gifts to local children through the annual Giving Tree campaign.

More than 500 children in the Annapolis area will receive unexpected gifts this year.

The midshipmen of the Naval Academy’s 6th Company organized the event, decorating the holiday tree in the Bancroft Hall rotunda with paper angel ornaments provided by the Salvation Army. Each angel bears the name and gender of a local child and a suggested gift for each. Naval Academy midshipmen, faculty and staff choose an ornament, purchase a gift for the child represented on the ornament and leave it unwrapped under the tree.

Suggested presents range from dolls, action figures and soccer balls to bicycles and electronics. The paper ornaments also include each child's pants, shirt and shoe size.

Elementary school students and teachers from the Naval Academy Primary School and alumni from the Class of 2000 also helped with the project this year. The Class of 2000 sponsors the sixth company and regularly attends football tailgates with the company along other events throughout the year.

"The brigade loves to participate in the Giving Tree because it is a way for us to connect with faculty, staff, and the community as a whole,” said Midshipman 1st Class Michael Watrol of Rossford, Ohio. “In collaboration with the Salvation Army, we have been able to provide hope and smiles on Christmas morning for the past 23 years."

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