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.”