Photo by Rae Kruger
Santa Claus, or Dick Peterson of Slayton, holds Keagen Anderson, 3, of Balaton Sunday at the holiday meal for families and friends of deployed soldiers from the region. Anderson's dad Jason Anderson is a member of the National Guard and was deployed to Kuwait from the Marshall unit. The event was held at Southwest Minnesota State University and organized by Jodi White of US Bank who said she was initially contacted about turkey donations for a holiday meal and then, she contacted volunteers and sponsors to provide a holiday meal to family and friends and gifts to children of deployed soldiers. White said about 210 people attended the event and 79 of those were children.