Here comes the 184th FSO to spread holiday cheer

161203-Z-GY054-0032_1By Tech. Sgt. Maria A. Ruiz, 184th Public Affairs

The 184th Family Support Organization is a 501 C3, private non-profit charitable organization, aimed at building stronger bonds between the civilian community and the 184th Intelligence Wing military families by providing appreciation events. One recent event was the inaugural 184th IW holiday party held during December 2016’s Regularly Scheduled Drill.

The holiday party had a Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, played by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Rush, first sergeant, 184th IW Wing Staff, and his wife Debbie, one of the founders of the FSO. The couple met with children in attendance and posed for photos. Other activities included games with prizes, crafts, door prizes, photo booth, dessert tables, hot and cold drinks and raffles.

“This is a good morale booster,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lurina Lovegrove, superintendent, 184th IW Inspector General. “The FSO can build their name in the community as one of the main organizer of this social gathering and continue providing events for the Airmen and their families.”

Lovegrove ran Santa’s workshop, where children received their gifts after visiting with Santa.

The 184th FSO went to St. Louis, Missouri, to pick up more than 1,500 toys to hand out as gifts for the wing holiday party. The toys were a donation from H.E.R.O.E.S. Care, a St. Louis based organization aimed at supporting military families.

“This is an opportunity to show support to our military families, especially the military children” said Hilari DeLaRosa, Airmen and Family Readiness Program manager, 184th IW, “this allows them to get out, interact with each other and have a great time.”

The 184th FSO is the organizer of other wing events such as the yearly school supply giveaway and spa day. Last year’s spa day had approximately 500 Airmen and their families in attendance and provided free spa type services from local businesses. Spa day offers free child care during the event, give-a-ways, food and raffles. The school supply giveaway provides school supplies to the Airmen and their families at no cost. FSO received enough supplies last year to assist 250 families.

“Our goal is to continue to expand so we can offer more events, offer additional assistance to Airmen in need and much more,” said Kristin Lewis, president, 184th FSO. “We’re very excited about how far we have come in a year and we’re amped about the potential of what we might be able to do and provide for our Airmen. The sky is the limit and we hope to reach that goal.”

There are a few ways to help the 184th FSO. The 184th FSO is part of the Dillon’s Community Rewards program, were Dillon’s will donate 10 percent from purchases while using a Dillon’s card to the 184th FSO. The 184th FSO is always looking for volunteers from the wing’s Airmen and their families to earn funds by working concession stands and collecting donations. For more information you can visit the organization’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/McConnell184thFSO.