Giving back to veterans continues to be a yearly event from Boot Hill Casino and Resort members.

This year was no different.

Members of Boot Hill Casino and Resort brought gifts to residents at the Kansas Soldier's Home at Fort Dodge on Thursday as part of the annual Hero Tree event.

"It is a labor of love for a lot of us," casino marketing director, Jessi Rabe said. "We have a lot of members who are veterans or have family in the military."

The Hero Tree event planning began early this year, according to casino marketing coordinator Katie Stephenson.

"We had some smaller items put up around Halloween," Stephenson said. "Then we began getting some of the bigger items mid-November."

Fort Dodge compiles a wish list from the residents on some of the things they need.

According to Stephenson, there is no limit to the wish lists.

Then members of Boot Hill Casino take the lists and begin purchasing the items for the residents.

"It took about 2 hours to wrap everything," Stephenson said. "We had a wrap party and did all the gifts and handed them out to everyone.

"Everything on the list more or less was purchased."

The Hero Tree event began several years ago when members of the casino began doing little things here and there with the residents at Fort Dodge.

"We decided to do something big for them for Christmas and have done it every year since," Stephenson said. "Veterans are near and dear to our hearts and it is a fantastic way to give the veterans who fought for our freedom, something back.

"It is the least we can do."

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