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Nine years of giving big

Volunteers pose for a photo at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Volunteers pose for a photo at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Annelise, 3, plays with a Siberian husky named Mya at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Annelise, 3, plays with a Siberian husky named Mya at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer, the Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge of Emergency Management, listens to Staff Sgt. Ashley, a sensor operator from the 9th Attack Squadron here, shows pictures of the project her team, The Knights, did during the Big Give as part of the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Tech. Sgt. Jennifer, the Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge of Emergency Management, listens to Staff Sgt. Ashley, a sensor operator from the 9th Attack Squadron here, shows pictures of the project her team, The Knights, did during the Big Give as part of the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from team R2D2 pose with their robot during the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from team R2D2 pose with their robot during the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Col. Houston R. Cantwell, the commander of the 49th Wing, speaks to volunteers during the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Col. Houston R. Cantwell, the commander of the 49th Wing, speaks to volunteers during the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 49th Operation Support Squadron’s Team Ram Rod! receive their $500 reward for winning the People’s Choice Small Team Award during the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 49th Operation Support Squadron’s Team Ram Rod! receive their $500 reward for winning the People’s Choice Small Team Award during the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 49th Maintenance Squadron’s Magnanimous Maintainers receive their $1,000 reward for winning the People’s Choice Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 49th Maintenance Squadron’s Magnanimous Maintainers receive their $1,000 reward for winning the People’s Choice Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 49th Mission Support Group’s Echo’s PTO receive their $2,000 reward for winning the Small Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 49th Mission Support Group’s Echo’s PTO receive their $2,000 reward for winning the Small Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 6th Attack Squadron’s R2D2 receive their $1,000 reward for winning the Third Place Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 6th Attack Squadron’s R2D2 receive their $1,000 reward for winning the Third Place Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 10’s Team Detstar receive their $2,000 reward for winning the Second Place Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
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Members from the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 10’s Team Detstar receive their $2,000 reward for winning the Second Place Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

Members from the 29th Attack Squadron’s team, Ghost Warriors, receive their $5,000 reward for winning the First Place Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)
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Members from the 29th Attack Squadron’s team, Ghost Warriors, receive their $5,000 reward for winning the First Place Large Team Award at the Big Give after-party August 12, 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Over the course of three weeks, 32 teams of 412 participants spent nearly 5,000 man hours volunteering in the local community — saving the area $202,092.33. (Last names are being withheld due to operational requirements. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Every year for the past nine, Holloman Airmen and their families spend hundreds of hours in the New Mexico heat, volunteering in the local community during the annual Big Give event. 

Thirty-two teams of 412 volunteers participated in this year’s Big Give. This year’s theme, “Grow Community,” racked up 4,997 man hours over the span of three weeks.

 Since its creation in the summer of 2008, Big Give has saved the Alamogordo and surrounding communities a total of $1,881,513.67.

This year alone, the Big Give saved the local community an estimated $202,092.33.

This impact has been noticed and celebrated by the new 49th Wing commander, Col. Houston R. Cantwell.

“I’m so excited to be here, and be a part of this event,” Cantwell said. “In my short one month here in Alamogordo, it is readily apparent to me how close the relationship is between Holloman Air Force Base and the Alamogordo community. That is a testament to everyone here and everyone downtown.”

Big Give projects range from fixing computers for high school students in need, to landscaping and everything in-between. Re-painting the local landmark ‘A’ in the mountains above Alamogordo is one such task many teams have taken on in the past. After their work is done, the teams present their projects to be judged.  

The first round of judging takes place a day before the Big Give after-party. Wing leadership watches every team present their project, and decides the Small and Large Team Award winners. At the Big Give after-party, attendees vote for their favorite teams. Those teams win the People’s Choice Small and Large Team Awards.

The 2016 winning teams and their awards were:

People’s Choice Small Team 1st Place: 49th Operation Support Squadron’s Team Ram Rod! -- $500

People’s Choice Large Team 1st Place: 49th Maintenance Squadron’s Magnanimous Maintainers -- $1,000

Small Team 1st Place: 49th Mission Support Group’s Echo’s PTO -- $2,000

Large Team 3rd Place: 6th Attack Squadron’s R2D2 -- $1,000        

Large Team 2nd Place: 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 10’s Team Detstar -- $2,000

Large Team 1st Place: 29th Attack Squadron’s Ghost Warriors -- $5,000

The awards were donations from local businesses that contribute every year and go to the squadrons of the winning teams.  

These teams and others contributed to over 25 local organizations and numerous individuals. Next year marks a historic milestone in Holloman’s involvement with the surrounding community.  

“This was our ninth year of doing the Big Give,” said Cantwell. “So, next year is the big one.”