An estimated 3,000 Davis-Monthan Air Force Base personnel and their families spent Saturday afternoon at DM enjoying free food, games, live music and a car show at a picnic in the park hosted by the DM 50.
“This is one of the most popular events of the year for thousands of folks who sacrifice their lives for our country. It’s the most visible indication of gratitude and support from the Tucson community,” said Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander.
The 16th annual picnic was held at Bama Park on the base where volunteers served thousands of hot dogs and hamburgers; kids enjoyed jumping castles, face painting, cotton candy, popcorn and pony rides, and the popular local band Clearwater performed. “This is our way of saying thank you to our Airmen and their families, by treating them to a day of fun”, said OK Rihl, DM50 picnic chair.
DM50, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the quality of life for Davis Monthan Airmen and their families, has raised over a $1 million in funding for dozens of initiatives such as Operation COPE, a DM-Day UA Football Game, and a car seat program in which all children of military families in need of a car safety seat receive one at no cost.
“This is paradise for us, and the kids are having a blast,” said Dené Galloway, whose husband Doug is an A-10 pilot and flight instructor. Staff Sgt. Paul Ennis of the 355th Communications Squadron commented that “this is the best event DM has, and we really enjoy and appreciate it.”