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‘Night out at the North Pole’ brings holiday cheer

holiday cheer party

Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Boston Alexander, 50th SW command chief, exhibit holiday cheer with Airmen during the 50th SW’s “Night out at the North Pole” holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7, 2018. More than 250 Airmen attended the event, raising $1,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Colorado and donating more than 70 toys for children in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

night at the North Pole Holiday party cheer

Attendees dance during the 50th Space Wing’s “Night out at the North Pole” holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7, 2018. The event gave Airmen a chance to embrace the holiday spirit and celebrate with games, prizes and other recreational activities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

night at the North Pole Holiday party cheer

Participants show off their custom wrapping during the 50th Space Wing’s “Night out at the North Pole” holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7, 2018. Games and a raffle featured various prizes, from kayaks to televisions, for participants to win. Additional raffle tickets were given to those who brought toys for donation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Holiday party cheer season

Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th Space Wing commander, engages with participants during the 50th SW’s “Night out at the North Pole” holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7, 2018. Grant kick started the event with a celebratory speech. More than 250 Airmen of all ranks attended the event to commemorate the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

night at the North Pole Holiday party cheer

Santa Claus pauses for a photo with Senior Master Sgt. Malcolm Summers, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron superintendent, during the 50th Space Wing’s “Night out at the North Pole” holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7, 2018. Summers, one of the event’s organizers, helped create an atmosphere of holiday cheer for Schriever Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

night at the North Pole Holiday party cheer

Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th Space Wing commander, presents Tom Echelmeyer, 8, a cancer survivor, and his father Master Sgt. Thomas Echelmeyer, 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering craftsman, a check on behalf of the 50th SW for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Colorado during the 50th SW’s “Night out at the North Pole” holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7, 2018. Aside from the check, event participants donated more than 70 toys to children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --


More than 250 Airmen celebrated the holiday season with food, prizes and dancing during the 50th Space Wing’s annual holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7.

The party, themed “Night out at the North Pole,” included a surprise visit from Santa Claus, holiday themed décor, photo station, dance floor and D.J.

Airman 1st Class Damon Survine, 50th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, said the positive atmosphere and festivities was a joyful start to the holiday season.

“This probably has the greatest vibe of any military event I’ve ever been to,” Survine said. “Everyone’s laid back. I especially loved it when Santa Claus came through - shout out to him.”

Senior Master Sgt. Michael Rozneck, 50th Operations Support Squadron superintendent, his first time attending the event, shared this sentiment.

“I’ve been to a lot of holiday parties in 21 years and this was definitely one of the best, I’m very impressed,” Rozneck said.

He welcomed the chance to wear his favorite ugly Christmas sweater.

“I was going to wear a suit but my wife encouraged me to wear my sweater instead,” he laughed.  “I thought I might as well have some fun.”

The arrangement of tables encouraged Airmen to engage in conversation with those in other units who they may not have meet personally.

“Morale was high and it was nice that they scattered people around so you weren’t just in your own little clique,” said James Stroman, 50th OSS special security officer. “It’s great to meet everyone else and learn about their squadrons.”

This sense of community was furthered by the abundance of prizes and recreational games, including a cookie eating challenge in which a participant must eat a cookie placed on their forehead without using their hands and a game where Airmen opened gifts using oven mitts.

However, the event was not just about receiving, but giving as well. Various Airmen donated toys, from stuffed animals to board games, for children in need and a $1,000 check was presented to Tom Echelmeyer, an 8 year-old cancer survivor, for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Colorado.

Senior Master Sgt. Malcolm Summers, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron superintendent and event organizer, said charity was the highlight of the night.

“The donations were at the forefront of what made this night so special,” Summers said. “The impact we make as servant leaders taking care of others makes a difference in the community and goes a long way.”

He said he enjoyed the chance to provide an avenue of positivity for Schriever Airmen and fulfilling the 50th Space Wing priority of taking care of Airmen and families always.

“There was no shortage of smiles and laughter throughout the night,” Summers said. “From left to right, there was nothing but people having a good time. Our volunteers did a great job. That’s what this is about – coming together and having a good time for a good cause.”

“We get so busy with work all the time, we tend to put up walls - sometimes without even knowing it,” Rozneck added. “This helps tear down those walls, brings us together and gives us a team feeling.”

 

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