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Operation Provide Joy delivers another happy holidays to local children

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Dan Gage
  • 90 Missile Wing Public Affairs
Warren members showed their holiday spirit by hosting underprivileged youth from the Cheyenne area on Dec. 11 for Operation Provide Joy.

One-hundred eighty-nine volunteers from Air Force Global Strike Command's F. E. Warren gathered in the Fall Hall Community Center here to welcome a group of 75 children from the local community with a holiday experience.

This was the 11th year in Operation Provide Joy's existence, an event that offers children from the community to get their face painted, play games, enjoy food and refreshments, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, Jingles and Jangles, Santa's elves and see a magician perform.

There were also a total of 660 gifts the children received, each child getting six to eight gifts and a holiday meal basket to take home to their families.

"Growing up, I lived on a lot of Air Force bases," said Capt. Philip Freeman, 321st Missile Squadron and Operation Provide Joy chairman. "I never witnessed such a strong bond between the base and local community as I have at Warren, this event shows the strength of that relationship."

Individuals and businesses from the Cheyenne area helped by making donations, assisting with food and giving military discounts on products purchased for the event.
Members of Cheyenne Frontier Days also showed up to help with the festivities, Amy Berry, Miss Frontier, and Sami Jo Heitsch, Miss her Lady-in-Waiting, visited the children and gave out candy.

"We're proud to be a part of this event," said Rod Hottle, general chairman of Cheyenne Frontier Days. "The kids have a great time; a lot of children wouldn't have the opportunity to experience something like this without this event."

Operation Provide Joy also offers Warren a chance to show its members what the base has to offer.

"We held this event at the Pronghorn Center in past years," said Sharon Shanks, 90th Force Support Squadron. "After the renovations to the Fall Hall Community Center were complete, this was a great way to show members of the Warren community the improvements we are making."

The main purpose of Operation Provide Joy is to give the children of Cheyenne an enjoyable holiday experience.

"This is a great opportunity for the Airmen here to get involved and help with the community," said Chief Master Sgt. Marty Anderson, 90th Missile Wing command chief. "We want to ensure these young children have a good holiday season."