OGDEN -- Dozens of families converged on the Weber County Sports Complex Wednesday night to write Christmas cards for wounded soldiers and earn a free pass to skate with the Ogden Mustangs.
"Our owner, Lori Miller, has a son that's in the military," said Kristi Kunz, Director of Marketing for the Ogden Mustangs. "We are all, as a team, very sensitive to the military in our area. We wanted to give back to the community and to the soldiers that serve and fight and sacrifice so much for us."
Attendees received cookies, free skate passes, and free skate rental for filling out cards. Other also received candy canes from Santa.
Mustangs players Martin Hallin, George Babos, and Simon Teodorsson dutifully greeted fans and filled out Christmas cards while their teammates had all the fun skating with the children and families in attendance.
"It's fun to meet all the kids and get some new fans," said Hallin, a forward from Sweden in his first year with the Mustangs.
Emily Crawford, Director of Public Relations for the Ogden Mustangs, said the cards would be delivered to those being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Md. Crawford said "Skate with the Mustangs" nights are held throughout the season, but the card signing event is new.
"Normally we do our 'Skate with the Mustangs' at the beginning (of the season) and then throughout the season, but we decided to do something different and do a Christmas card event for the Wounded Warriors Project at the Walter Reed Hospital," Crawford said. "We have so many people here and it's so fun. It's just something we can do for the holidays for people who aren't able to go home this season."
Melissa Richman, of South Weber, said she and her family seek out ways to support members of the military during the holiday season because many members of her own family have served in the armed forces.
"Writing Christmas cards to our soldiers is something that we like to do," Richman said. "It's fun for the kids and it gives them a different perspective on what Christmas is. We have family in the military, and who have been overseas, so it's an important cause for us. We like to try to give back however we can."
The Holiday Mail for Heroes program opened on Sept. 30 and closed Friday. If you'd like to participate in next year's Holiday Mail for Heroes program, you can find more information by visiting the "Holiday Mail for Heroes" link under the "Featured Links" menu at the WRNMMC website: www.wrnmmc.capmed.mil.