Santa's Workshop

Mary LeMasters, a Santa’s Workshop board member, gives a tour of the workshop to Col. Mark Simerly, commander of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, right, and Col. Charles Kibben, rear-detachment commander for the 13th Sustainment Command, during the Santa’s Workshop grand opening Nov. 1, 2012, at Fort Hood.

Residents can celebrate “Christmas in July” during a fundraiser supporting Santa’s Workshop this week.

The Fort Hood nonprofit is hosting an event Wednesday at Pluckers Wing Bar in Killeen, where 20 percent of food and nonalcoholic drink purchases will be donated to the nonprofit when customers mention the fundraiser to their servers.

The local organization helps military families provide gifts for their children during Christmas, said Gail Dillon, Santa’s Workshop publicity chair. Last year, it provided gifts for 3,860 children in about 1,820 families with the help of donations from the community.

“Our main purpose is to provide toys, books and games to military families who are in need during the Christmas season,” she said. “It’s kind of unique because soldiers get to choose gifts based on their children’s personalities. That makes it neat (because) each child probably gets more of what he or she really wants.”

When parents receive the gifts for their children, some of them cry knowing their children won’t be left out in receiving gifts during the holiday, Dillon said, adding being a part of the nonprofit is fulfilling.

“(Children) can’t help what their financial situation is,” she said.

Dillon said the annual event is one of the organization’s main fundraisers.

“We need all the help we can get, so we can buy all the toys,” she said. “(The event) is a huge boost to our funding.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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