It’s that time of the year when parents and children start preparing for the upcoming school year. The Luke Chapel and Luke Airman Fund sponsored a Back to School Bash Aug. 2 at Fowler Park to help give back to those who support the Airmen.
“Airmen serve and families sacrifice,” said Capt. Kevin Rash, 944th Fighter Wing chaplain. “This is just a small way we give back to our families.”
The event was open to active-duty military, Reserve, civilians and family members.
“As new residents, it’s a great opportunity to come to a community event such as this one,” said Jaycee Boyer, a Luke family member.
The event also included school supplies for the first 250 children who attended. Activities included face painting, two jump houses, water slides and sports games.
“The purpose of the event was to build a community family event for Luke families,” said Staff Sgt. Rachel Lane, 56th Fighter Wing chaplain assistant. “When Airmen spend so much time away from their families, it can take a toll.”
Luke’s chapel sponsored the event as a gesture of support to the families at Luke.
“The response was truly amazing – 500 people,” said Maj. David Barns, 56th FW deputy wing chaplain. “Our goal was to provide a fun, family-friendly event. The turnout, the smiling faces and the comments we received validated the need for such an event. Building community through events like this help strengthen the resilience of our Airmen and their families.”
Several squadrons set up interactive displays to give children a glimpse of what they do. Members from the 56th Security Forces, Medical support and Civil Engineer squadrons showed children some of the equipment they use and answered questions.
A booth was also set up to promote the upcoming Disney film “Planes” and offer attendees premiere tickets and school supplies.
“This was awesome that the community gets together right before school starts,” said Master Sgt. Romney Scheirer, 56th FW chapel superintendent.