By Senior Airman William Tracy
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — More than 250 Airmen celebrated the holiday season with food, prizes and dancing during the 50th Space Wing’s annual holiday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 7.
Airman 1st Class Damon Survine, 50th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, said the positive atmosphere and festivities was a joyful start to the holiday season.
“This probably has the greatest vibe of any military event I’ve ever been to,” Survine said. “Everyone’s laid back. I especially loved it when Santa Claus came through — shout out to him.”
Senior Master Sgt. Michael Rozneck, 50th Operations Support Squadron superintendent, his first time attending the event, shared this sentiment.
“I’ve been to a lot of holiday parties in 21 years and this was definitely one of the best, I’m very impressed,” Rozneck said.
He welcomed the chance to wear his favorite ugly Christmas sweater.
“I was going to wear a suit but my wife encouraged me to wear my sweater instead,” he laughed. “I thought I might as well have some fun.”
The arrangement of tables encouraged Airmen to engage in conversation with those in other units who they may not have meet personally.
“Morale was high and it was nice that they scattered people around so you weren’t just in your own little clique,” said James Stroman, 50th OSS special security officer. “It’s great to meet everyone else and learn about their squadrons.”
This sense of community was furthered by the abundance of prizes and recreational games, including a cookie eating challenge in which a participant must eat a cookie placed on their forehead without using their hands and a game where Airmen opened gifts using oven mitts.
However, the event was not just about receiving, but giving as well. Various Airmen donated toys, from stuffed animals to board games, for children in need and a $1,000 check was presented to Tom Echelmeyer, an 8 year-old cancer survivor, for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Colorado.
Senior Master Sgt. Malcolm Summers, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron superintendent and event organizer, said charity was the highlight of the night.
“The donations were at the forefront of what made this night so special,” Summers said. “The impact we make as servant leaders taking care of others makes a difference in the community and goes a long way.”
He said he enjoyed the chance to provide an avenue of positivity for Schriever Airmen and fulfilling the 50th Space Wing priority of taking care of Airmen and families always.
“There was no shortage of smiles and laughter throughout the night,” Summers said. “From left to right, there was nothing but people having a good time. Our volunteers did a great job. That’s what this is about — coming together and having a good time for a good cause.”
“We get so busy with work all the time, we tend to put up walls — sometimes without even knowing it,” Rozneck added. “This helps tear down those walls, brings us together and gives us a team feeling.”