Hundreds gather at Camp Mabry for Green Santa carnival



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Posted on December 3, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 3 at 10:01 AM

AUSTIN -- Hundreds of people headed out to Camp Mabry Sunday for the annual Operation Green Santa holiday carnival. There was music, food and lots of fun for the kids.

The holiday festival to support military families came complete with games, cotton candy and, of course, jolly Old Saint Nick.

Operation Green Santa started five years ago. It was the brain child of U.S. Army soldier Adam Huckstep and his mother Tracy Laporte.

"Everything started because of my son. When he joined the military, I could not find enough stuff out there to support. And then I started going further and further and realized that there's just, not only not support, there's a lot of need out there," said Laporte.

This year's event is bittersweet for organizers. The soldier who started it, Seargent Adam Huckstep, was killed this past February in a motorcycle accident.

More than 150 motocyclists -- including Huckstep's mother -- rode into Camp Mabry, bearing gifts for the military children. Their way of supporting families in need and honoring the man who started this.

"I'd give anything to have him back. I'd give all this up too. I would tell every one of these people to go home, take your toys somewhere else, but it is because of him. So there's no way I'll stop it. We'll continue operation Green Santa," she said.

It's a project to give back, continuing the legacy of a fallen solider.

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