On Saturday, also known as Armed Forces Day, San Angelo Chamber of Commerce organized the 11th annual Goodfellow Appreciation Day to celebrate local active-duty military personnel and their families.
According to Interim President at the COC Peggy Arnold, this is an annual event that the COC and the Military Affairs Committee puts on as a way of showing appreciation to San Angelo’s active-duty military personnel and their families for their service.
“We started working on getting volunteers for the event four or five weeks ago,” Event Coordinator and Membership Assistant at the COC, Laura Lewis said. She has been in charge of collecting sponsorship dollars and organizing the event.
According to Arnold, most of the volunteers come from COC’s memberships and a good majority of that comes from the MAC.
“We put the word out to our members that we need volunteers and they gladly step in and support us. Our sponsors also got some of their employees to come and volunteer for the event wearing t-shirts that represents their company for sponsoring,” she said.
According to Lewis they needed about 100 people to make the event happen, and they reached that goal.
“Everything has been going as planned and we have sold more than 2400 tickets to the event this year,” she said.
According to Arnold and Lewis one of the primary missions of the COC is to support Goodfellow Air Force Base, and they do so in a number of ways, but “this is their opportunity to show them how much the whole community appreciates them for their services”.
“It is just a feel good event to thank them for being here and for their service,” Lewis said.
Volunteer Mary Moreno said this is “a good opportunity to give back to the community and the military”. Saturday is her third year volunteering at the GAD, and it will not be her last. She believes the day has gone well and that the turnout has been great.
“There is a steady flow of people coming in,” she said, “and everyone seems to love our lemonade.”
Several of GAFB’s personnel wished to thank the COC members for arranging the event.
Military spouse Abigail Chandler said “I think this is such a great event and my husband and I appreciate it so much. I grew up in a small town with a military base and they never did anything like this. This is our first week in San Angelo and we could not have felt more welcomed. Thank you!”
Major Jason Stutzman also wanted to thank the COC for organizing this event.
“This is awesome. It is my third time being stationed in San Angelo. I love this community. They do so much for the military. This event is truly phenomenal and the relationship between the COC, the GAFB and the local civilian community is really great. This event also helps bring more people to Goodfellow and it makes people like me want to stay here. Thank you just does not capture how grateful I am,” he said.
Additionally, Staff Sgt. at GAFB, Bianca Miller said she has been in San Angelo for six months, and she really appreciates what the Chamber of Commerce is doing for them. “I’ve never been to a base that does something like this for us. I love it and my kids love it. We will be here for the next four years so it is good to know that the community cares about us. I love San Angelo; everyone is so nice and welcoming. Thank you.”
Although the RiverStage event will end at 2 p.m., military guests and their family have been invited to visit the neighboring attractions at no charge as part of the day’s celebration, according to a release issued by San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. “For the rest of the afternoon, guests may visit Fort Concho, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Railway Museum, Bosque Park and the Municipal Pool for a private swim party,” the release said.
If anyone is interested in volunteering for the 2017 event or other COC events, call 325-655-4136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.