Servicemen treated to 'A Christmas Carol'

December 31, 2010 6:38:31 PM PST
The Goodman Theatre and the USO treated troops and their families to an afternoon of entertainment on New Year's Eve.

They donated about 500 tickets to the final performance of the Charles Dickens' classic -- "A Christmas Carol."

Although Ebenezer Scrooge was the main attraction, the holiday spirit of giving made the day possible.

"We felt that it was the least we could do to say thank you to the service men and women and their families," said Goodman Theatre Board Chairman Patricia Cox.

Community Day at the Goodman Theatre marked the second year the theatre has partnered with the USO.

"Couple families here have five and six and seven deployments, loved ones missing right now for the holidays, and it's a good chance to lift their spirits and be a part of it," said USO of Illinois President and COO Anthony Enrietto.

Andy Fowles recently wrapped up his fifth deployment. He says he is grateful for the services the USO provides.

"When I get deployed, I'm deployed with a whole bunch of guys that support me but when I'm not home, there is a support for the family, and my wife and the kids and all the other moms and kids and stuff that are left behind when the soldiers are deployed," said Fowles.

Retired Army Staff Sergeant Kenneth Hubbard said that even after ending his final two-year tour in Iraq, service is never far from his mind.

"I just recently came back. I'm retired. It was a tour of duty. We saw a lot of things that we didn't think that was going on right over there that we tried to rectify," said Hubbard.

Governor Pat Quinn was on hand to greet the troops and their families. He says he hopes everyone will find a way to give back to the men and women in the armed forces.

"It's important that we not forget those who are on the front line for our democracy," said Quinn. "That should be our New Year's resolution: support the troops, find ways - real ways of helping service members."

This year's show is the 33rd production of A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre. An additional 300 tickets were donated to families affiliated with the Ronald McDonald House charities, Snow City Arts, the Lincoln Park Community shelter and the Maria shelter.