Team Kingsley hosts annual Family Day event
By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson, 173rd Fighter Wing
/ Published October 28, 2019
KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. -- Each year as fall arrives with crisp air and changing leaves the 173rd Fighter Wing hosts a family day for Airmen and their loved ones, bringing the larger Kingsley Field family together for camaraderie and fun, Oct. 20, 2019.
Outside the command building on the lawn are booths for face painting, a pumpkin patch for kids, a petting zoo with a Shetland pony and goats, popcorn and candy, an archery range for kids, and hot drinks for everyone.
“Our 4H group, the Basin Knight Riders, organized a petting zoo and it was really fun to see kids who don’t normally get to interact with animals faces light up,” said Master Sgt. Sandra Fugate. “We brought Boer Goats, which my daughter breeds and shows in 4H competitions. It was a blast and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.”
For eight-year-old Colton the idea of shooting a bow was exciting, “I can shoot one!?” he said with an ear-to-ear grin.
This year marks the last time Chief Master Sgt. James Dean will host the extensive archery range complete with targets and many small bows suitable for children. He says it’s been a long process that even involved his chapter of the Oregon Hunter Association partnering with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to buy a mobile trailer with bows, targets, cordons and all the other necessary items for the booth.
“The kids!” said Dean on why he had organized the event since 2016. “Seeing the joy on the kids face when they hit their target makes it all worthwhile!”
He goes on to say that his son, Tech. Sgt. Kyle Dean, may carry on the tradition or he may also volunteer to do it as a retiree in the years to come.
Elsewhere children lined up to “fish”. With pole in hand kids dropped a line behind a sea-scape façade where Airmen attached a prize and gave the line a good yank. Every child managed to catch something!
Once all the festivities were over the Airman and Family Readiness center staff worked to quickly put away all of the tables, chairs, booths in preparation for the next event.
“It’s a lot of planning for a couple months in advance,” said Master Sgt. Bobbi Uhlig, the Airman and Family Readiness Program Assistant and project manager. “For me it’s all about the kids—seeing them get their faces painted and picking out pumpkins and, of course, they all love the bounce house. It’s also nice to invite resources to the base to give information to Airmen on how they can be of assistance.”
Events for Kingsley families are planned regularly and the next event in the same vein is the Children’s Christmas Carnival held in the hangar.
For more information or to volunteer to host a booth or an activity contact Airman and Family Readiness at 541-885-6112.