HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- --
Holloman hosted multiple events for Airmen and their families, April 6th, 2019, at the child development and youth centers.
Families kicked off the day with an Autism Awareness fun run before opening up to a children’s carnival and food distribution.
“The message we want to get out is twofold,” said LaurieAnn Goodier, 49th Force Support Squadron school liaison officer. “With the Autism Awareness fun run, we want to acknowledge that in addition to all the challenges our military families face, military dependents on the autism spectrum in many cases have additional challenges due to that diagnosis. The children’s carnival is held annually to show outward support for our military children. While it is a fun event, it also provides an opportunity for the entire Holloman community to show their support for military children and the sacrifices they make every day.”
Although the fun run and carnival have been a joint event for the last four years, this was the first year that the food, books and care items were donated during the event.
“This year when FSS was provided the opportunity to support our community through the donation of food and personal care items, along with books; it made the most sense to have all three in the same location,” said Goodier. “The most fulfilling part of this event is giving back to the community. As an Air Force brat myself, I take immense pride in serving the families of those that serve us all.”
Over 750 people participated in the fun run and attended the carnival this year. Of those that attended were Tech. Sgt. Whitney O’Neill, 49th Wing Protocol noncommissioned officer in charge, along with her family.
“It was a very family friendly and safe area for my son to run,” said O’Neill. “I was able to get a couple of free books that my son loved. I hope to go again next year.”
The O’Neill family did not just come for the carnival, they also felt it essential to participate in the Autism Awareness Fun Run. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.
“I have a very close family friend that is autistic,” said O’Neill. “It is always nice to support awareness for this illness.”
Whether it is bringing awareness, food or just showing appreciation, the 49th FSS felt that the event was successful. Holloman families were given over 6,000 books and 800 boxes of food and supplies.
“I am just honored to be able to serve our Holloman families in the way that I do,” said Goodier. “Many military children have paved the way for the military children today. Major positive changes have been made due to what military children have had to go through in regards to relocation, transitions and deployments. While I know that there is still a long road ahead in advocating for military childrens’ needs, we should look back with pride on how far we have come. When a parent serves, their children serve, too!”