Operation Santa Provides Holiday Shopping Spree for 40 Valley Youth with a Deployed Parent
By Justin Liggin -
Friday Dec 08, 2023
As part of the spirit of the holidays, Fiesta Bowl Charities teamed up with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Fighter Country Foundation for its seventh annual Operation Santa to provide holiday cheer and miracles with a shopping spree for 40 Valley children from Luke Air Force Base with an active, deployed parent.
Through Fighter Country Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on programs and services at Luke Air Force Base to support and honor Airmen and their families, the children received a $300 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card to spend at the Arrowhead Towne Center location in Glendale. Fiesta Bowl volunteers were paired with the children to assist them in their shopping spree, in addition to dinner provided by Rudy’s BBQ and an Operation Santa t-shirt.
“Every year we are so honored to bring holiday joy to children and their families who make the ultimate sacrifice to our country, especially during this special season,” said Kristina Chumpol, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Community Investment at Fiesta Bowl. “Whether at home or overseas, it’s important to us to support military members and their families and we are able to do so in partnership with Fighter Country Foundation and Dick’s Sporting Goods. This Operation Santa mission to spread cheer and joy is absolutely priceless.”
Since 2006, Fighter Country Foundation is the leading support and advocacy group for the Luke Air Force Base community and in the Valley of the Sun. Partnering with Fighter Country Foundation allows Fiesta Bowl Charities to move its mission of supporting Arizona's youth forward.
“For years FCF has partnered with Fiesta Bowl Charities and Dick's Sporting Goods to bring this amazing program to our military families at Luke AFB. These families are receiving an incredible shopping spree as we approach Christmas while many of them are going through challenging times with a parent who is currently deployed or on remote assignment. The Operation Santa program provides a much-needed positive experience for these deserving families,” said Ron Sites, President and CEO at Fighter Country Foundation. “The smiles and enjoyment you see on everyone's faces clearly displays why this is one of FCF's favorite programs to partner with our friends at the Fiesta Bowl. Then when you see Senior Leadership from Luke attend and join in the fun, it becomes so humbling and rewarding to be a part of.”
“This is truly one of my favorite events of the year, to be able to be a part of a special night to thank the brave men and women who serve our country around the holidays is so meaningful to us. We are so grateful for the partnership we have developed over the years with Fiesta Bowl Charities and Fighter Country and can’t thank both of these organizations for their dedication and support of our local military families,” said Ryan Polosky, Senior Community Marketing Manager at Dick’s Sporting Goods. “We are so excited to host these great kids and families for Operation Santa and truly wish them all a very happy holiday”.