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Finance Office completes December food drive

Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank Drive

The 173rd Fighter Wing Comptroller flight, better known as the finance office, undertook a fundraiser to support the local Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank during the holiday season and presented the funds to Niki Sampson, the food bank director, Jan. 10, 2019. The funds raised will equate to 44,840 pounds of food for those in need, more than double what the office raised last year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)

173rd Fighter Wing

The hallway in the command building of the 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon, was festooned with holiday themed silent auction items as the comptroller flight worked to raise funds to support the local foodbank during the month of December. The effort raised enough money to procure more than 22-thousand pounds of food for needy basin residents. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer)

173rd Fighter Wing

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Shelly Conley, 173rd Comptroller Flight, helped spread the word that two members of her office, Capt. Thomas Eichelkraut and Senior Master Sgt. Casey Grimes, are very competitive, and because of this they should be the team captains for the finance office fundraiser for the local foodbank. The strategy seems to have paid off as this year they raised more funds than in the previous four. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer)



The 173rd Fighter Wing Comptroller Flight, commonly known as the finance office, organized a food drive to support the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank, which garnered a total food donation of 44,840 pounds—more than double what they donated during their food drive last year. This is the fourth year this office has coordinated this fundraiser.

The food bank’s program provides short-term help for a variety of needs. According to their website, those needs include moving from receiving welfare to work, seasonal unemployment, and financial hardship brought on by an illness or an injury.

“This is so very near and dear to my heart,” said Tech. Sgt. Shelly Conley, the fundraiser coordinator. “To know that all of us--to include our office, members around base, and the community can come together and help those that need a little extra during tough times is so heartwarming and amazing—it brings a smile to my heart!”

In order to help make this event successful, Conley used some office psychology. “We picked two team captains, Capt. Thomas Eichelkraut and Senior Master Sgt. Casey Grimes, who are very competitive with each other,” she said.

She said this worked well as they have eclipsed last year’s number of 21,672-pounds of food by more than double. 

Among the contributors the 173rd Fighter Wing Senior Enlisted Council donated $200, which translates to 1,800-pounds of food for needy basin residents.

This year they also incorporated a silent auction and a raffle.

Conley and all of the comptroller flight Airmen presented the funds to the food bank director, Niki Sampson, Jan. 10, 2019.

“We can’t thank them enough!” said Sampson. “People walk through our door who have just had something tragic happen in their lives and we can help them; we are able to do that because of what Shelly and people like her are doing.  Big hugs to all of the 173rd Fighter Wing for your help!”

During the winter months Sampson said much of their need is for senior citizens who are on a fixed income. They see increased costs for heat and may have little left for groceries. The food bank steps in and provides them food to get them through a difficult time and she wants those who helped out by donating to know what their donations and hard work go toward.