Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

‘Candyland’ brings joy to Team Schriever

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus make an appearance during the annual Children’s Holiday Party at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2017. Family and friends gathered together to participate in activities, greet Santa and register for prizes.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus make an appearance during the annual Children’s Holiday Party at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2017. Family and friends gathered together to participate in activities, greet Santa and register for prizes.

By Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Snowflakes, lights and Christmas trees lit up the scene during the 17th annual Children’s Holiday Party at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2.

The 50th Force Support Squadron hosted the event to unite Schriever Airmen and families for the holiday season.

“I developed the concept for the holiday party when I worked as a youth center director in the Netherlands,” said Thea Wasche, 50th FSS deputy commander. “After that, I took the idea to all the bases I have gone. Here at Schriever, we don’t have many facilities, but we do have community and family events we take pride in. This was definitely the most attended Children’s Holiday Party.”

Approximately 1,800 attendees helped spread holiday cheer while participating in numerous games and activities.

The party featured activities including a photo booth, a reindeer toss game, balloon artists, bean bag toss, ice pond fishing and a bounce house. Additionally, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo representatives attended, drawing in a large crowd.

Toys and books are on display during the annual Children’s Holiday Party at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2017. The 50th Force Support Squadron hosted the event to unite Schriever Airmen and families during the holiday season.

Toys and books are on display during the annual Children’s Holiday Party at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Dec. 2, 2017. The 50th Force Support Squadron hosted the event to unite Schriever Airmen and families during the holiday season.

Pony rides were especially popular among the younger children. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus visited the party, which sent children running to greet them.

“We had a lot more activities compared to previous years,” said 1st Lt. Walker Fickling, 50th FSS sustainment services flight chief and event lead. “What was unique this time is we had a caricaturist which was a pretty big hit.”

More than 90 volunteers assisted with set-up, tear-down and activities during the event. Volunteers also expressed how much they enjoyed helping out.

“This was my first time working at the Christmas Holiday Party and it was a great experience overall,” said Airman 1st Class Magdalena Kocheva, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron commander support staff. “I worked at the photo booth, which turned out to be the busiest spot at the festival. Even though there was a huge line throughout the day, it was rewarding to see how happy people were when leaving.”

“I would tell everybody to take part and have fun while volunteering, since it was a great chance to meet my co-workers’ families and see all their kids having a blast,” she added.

According to Fickling, preparation for the event typically takes several months.

“I started planning for it the end of September,” Fickling said. “This was my third time attending, but first time coordinating everything for it. Planning every element did get tricky at times, but having support and working with other sections helped to ensure everything ran smoothly. It was all worth it, especially because everybody seemed to have a great time.”

Although planning was extensive, the event brought the community together for a time of fun and games.

“It was great seeing everyone’s reactions,” Wasche said. “Kids saying thank you and hearing feedback from those who attended was my favorite part. We also had the best support yet from group and base leadership.”

The next major event the 50th FSS will host is the Spring Fling scheduled for March 24. Anyone interested in volunteering for future events or for more information, can contact the 50th FSS Marketing Department at 567-4740.

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