Student Kyler Greer received his gift from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Student Kyler Greer received his gift from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

By Theresa Ekdom

ROSCOMMON – For 12 years the Michigan Firemen’s Memorial Festival Committee has been helping classes at COOR Educational Center (CEC) celebrate Christmas. They started putting on a Christmas party for the students after a different organization was no longer able to.

CEC is an educational institution that provides specialized services to special needs children.

Four committee members do the shopping, purchasing gifts from the students’ wish lists. Originally they would also prepare a lunch at the Fire Training Grounds and hold the party there. For the last few years, the party has been held at COOR.

Donna Thoma and her husband Ed have been involved with the celebration for a number of years.

“It’s a special thing to watch the kids mature and grow, to see them become more independent and helpful,” Donna said. “To watch these kids grow from year to year, that brings us a lot of joy.”

Dec. 7 MFMF committee members, CEC students and staff first met for a pizza lunch. They decorated Christmas cookies, then waited in the gym for some special visitors – Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Each student met with Santa and received their gift.

The MFMF committee is in need of new members. In addition to putting on the Firemen’s Festival each year, and their annual COOR Christmas party, they present scholarships to high school students. You can contact them from their website, www.firemensmemorial.com or  their facebook page.