Local

June 1, 2012

Team Edwards welcomes summer by Celebrating our Community of Excellence

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by Laura Mowry
Staff writer
Air Force photograph by Laura Mowry
Chris Herbst, Edwards AFB Environmental Management, talks to a young boy about gopher snakes at the Celebrating our Communities of Excellence event May 24 at Community Park. The event aimed to provide a fun, family friendly environment where adults and children alike could learn about summer safety before the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend.

Team Edwards kicked off the unofficial start of the summer season May 24 by Celebrating our Community of Excellence.

The event, which was held at Community Park, across the street from the Child Development Center, aimed to provide attendees with important safety information before Memorial Day Weekend and summer.

The event, which began at 1 p.m. and wrapped up around 5 p.m., was sponsored by the 95th Medical Group and focused on topics such as Airmen resiliency, safety and the 101 Critical Days of Summer in a fun, family-friendly environment.

“The 95th Medical Group has a key role to play not only in health and wellness throughout the community, but also looking at Airmen resiliency and safety. This event focuses on Airmen and family, health and wellness, and even ties in the 101 Critical Days of Summer,” said Col. Keith Donaldson, 95th MDG commander.

Sparky the Dog met with children throughout the Celebrating our Community of Excellence event May 24. He was in attendance with the Edwards Fire Department, which also had fire trucks on display throughout the event.

Throughout the event, attendees had the chance to visit interactive learning experiences with important messages targeted to adults and children, aiming to keep everyone who makes Edwards a Community of Excellence safe during the summer months. Safety topics ranged from environmental concerns, such as snakes and other desert critters, to bicycle and motorcycle riding.

Children at the event even had the chance to meet with 95th Security Forces Squadron members, which were in attendance with McGruff the Crime Dog and the Edwards Fire Department featured fire trucks on display and brought Sparky the Dog.

Plenty of food and refreshments were available at the event for purchase, such as hotdogs and other snacks including snow cones. The Defense Commissary Agency made a substantial donation of Gatorade and water, which were available to all event participants for free.Bouncy castles, sumo wrestling, basketball, face painting and a beanbag toss were just a few of the many activities offered to Team Edwards at the event. Representatives from the base’s horse stable were in attendance with two horses. With singing and dancing throughout the afternoon, there was no shortage of entertainment for event attendees.

“This event not only brings everyone together to celebrate our community of excellence, but it delivers key messages of resiliency, dealing with the stresses of life in a healthy way – safety, health and wellness,” said Donaldson.

The event, which came together in approximately 13 duty days, yielded an impressive turnout for an afternoon filled with fun and learning.

Christine Burdick, Edwards contract riding instructor, shows off Chance, a 5-year-old American Quarter Horse during the Celebrating our Community of Excellence event May 24. Chance was one of two horses at the event, which attendees had the opportunity to get up close with and find out more information about the Edwards stables and horse safety.

“The beauty of this event is if you look around you’ll see families, active duty Airmen, retirees, and civilian employees. I’m very happy with the turnout,” said Donaldson. “This came together in less than 15 duty days and it’s because of the sheer effort and determination of volunteers and a few key leaders that allowed this event to happen.”

Master Sgt. George Cox, 95th Medical Support Squadron, Terry Stegman, 95th Force Support Squadron, and Elaine Estacio, 95th Medical Operations Squadron, spearheaded organizational efforts for the Celebrating our Community of Excellence event and ensured that everything went smoothly throughout the afternoon.

“It’s the kickoff of the 101 Critical Days of Summer, so the event generates awareness and kicks off the summer season with a fun event for the Edwards community,” said Stegman. “Hopefully people will go home remembering things they learned and applying them throughout the summer. We always do something for the 101 Critical Days of Summer, but this year it’s a fresh approach to bring this important information to the forefront in a fun yet informative way.”




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