Spring Fling draws record attendance
By Brian Hagberg, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 31, 2015
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 14th annual Spring Fling, held March 28 at the Schriever Fitness Center, drew a record 1,750 attendees to the event.
The 50th Force Support Squadron hosted the event for children and family members of Schriever personnel.
"Spring Fling is just one opportunity to give back to the community," said Mary Barkley, 50 FSS flight chief. "We know the Schriever community supports 50 FSS programs throughout the year, and holding events such as Spring Fling is just one way to give back."
Barkley said this year's Spring Fling marked the most highly attended Spring Fling in the event's history. Abundant sunshine and temperatures in the mid-70s certainly helped drive attendance.
"The weather fully cooperated and we had record participation," Barkley said.
The festivities included a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses, face painting, balloon art, games and a complimentary lunch. Hairy the Bunny and his fairytale friends, Cinderella and Prince Charming and a host of other fairy tale characters were in attendance for photos and visits with families.
The whole event, including games and prizes, was paid for by outside community partners through the Air Force Commercial Sponsorship Program.
According to Darcie Ibidapo, 50 FSS Advertising and Commercial Sponsorship manager, Schriever is one of the fortunate bases when it comes to commercial sponsorship, in that events are fully funded through sponsorship.
"Without the support of our sponsors, events like the Spring Fling would be much smaller," Ibidapo said. "While commercial sponsorship funds are used to off-set budgeted expenses for morale, welfare and recreation programs, Schriever is fortunate enough to receive such tremendous support that our events are 100 percent funded through the program."
According to the 50 FSS website, 50 FSS "partners with local businesses to enhance special events and leisure time activities for our population...these activities not only promote fitness and esprit de corps, but also improve the quality of life for our community."
"Our sponsors make it possible to hold events like Spring Fling at no cost [to members] and give many opportunities to win prizes," Barkley said.
Ibidapo said the level of sponsorship the installation receives shows how supportive the local community is of Schriever.
"We are truly grateful for our sponsors and the support the Colorado Springs community provides to our base," Ibidapo said. "With their continued support, our events will continue to exceed all expectations."
In addition to the financial sponsors, volunteers play a critical role in the success of Spring Fling. Volunteers help with the set up and tear down of the event, as well as, manning information and game booths, serving lunch and generally helping the event run smoothly.
"We wouldn't be able to sponsor a major community event such as Spring Fling without our hardworking volunteers," Barkley said.
Spring Fling is one of four annual community events hosted by 50 FSS. The next 50 FSS event is the Summer Slam base picnic scheduled for July 17.