The 57th Alumni Association reunion for 2012 was held in Altus, OK. It was a huge success and the fond memories of this event will last for a lifetime, for those who attended. You were missed if you were unable to attend this year. So please make plans now to join us at our next reunion, scheduled for September 26, 2013 in Dayton/Fairborn, OH. Let me share with you some of the highlights from this year’s reunion.
Alumni started arriving early this year, as we had individuals already waiting at the hotel when we arrived on Wednesday afternoon the 10th. I sensed immediately that we were in for a great reunion. Throughout the day, on Thursday, the arrivals continued and that evening we moved over to Luigi’s for our official icebreaker, where there were lots of hugs, handshakes and the always inevitable “war stories.” Our guests came from several states, including MN, FL, KS, IN, KY, OK, TX, AR and GA, just to name a few.
On Friday morning yours truly had the honor of speaking to our association members on the subject of our 57th Heritage. That afternoon we took an Altus Air Force base tour arranged by Ms. Patricia Weyer of the Public Affairs Office. On the tour we were given the 97th Air Mobility Wing briefing by the base leadership, a tour of the C-17 flight and loadmaster simulators as well as the KC-135 boom operator simulator. Included in the tour was a chance to visit the Weapons simulator where everyone had an opportunity to fire a few rounds. Then Friday evening we had an outstanding barbecue dinner that had been arranged by Mr. Paul Zender. Many of us had seconds or thirds and the ribs were the first to go. “Oh, the food was so good!”
Our association business meeting was held on Saturday morning. During this meeting the 57th Alumni Association members elected three officers & three directors who will serve for the next two years.
Ø President: Woodie Hall, from 2012 - 2014
Ø Secretary: Wim Wetzel, from 2012 - 2014
Ø Director at Large # 2: Floyd Badsky, from 2012 - 2014
Ø Director at Large # 4: Jim Doornbos, from 2012 - 2014
Ø Treasurer position: Kevin McAuliffe resigned his position as he has relocated from Altus to St Louis, MO. Gary Snyder was elected to fill the remainder of Kevin McAuliffe’s term of office (2013).
Ø With Gary Snyder’s election to the treasurer position that left open a Director at large position. Mike Welch was elected to fill the remainder of Gary's term which will be to 2013. Mike will be Director at Large # 1.
Note: The 57th Alumni Association business meeting minutes are posted on the website.
While the 57th Alumni Association business meeting was in progress the spouses were treated to a guided tour of the Museum of the Western Prairie in downtown Altus. Upon completing the tour, the group enjoyed lunch at the Plaza Restaurant. The tour and luncheon were hosted by Ms. Debbie Davis, who did a fantastic job planning this event.
On Saturday evening at 6 pm the Alumni gathered at Club Altus on Altus Air Force Base for our social and reunion banquet dinner. I am pleased to report that we had 102 in attendance.
Some of the evening highlights are as follows:
· We honored a long time friend Mr. Gail Miller by inducting him into the 57th Alumni Association as an Honorary Member. Mr. Miller was a navigator and then a pilot during WWII, Chief of Training for the 443rd MAW, served in the reserves with the rank of Colonel and retired from the reserves and civil service in 1989.
· Our keynote speaker was Maj Gen Tim Zadalis who lifted all of us with his stupendous address. We are also pleased and honored to have General Zadalis as one of our new Alumni Association Lifetime Members.
Alumni Association Membership: Prior to our reunion our association membership totaled fifty-one (51) Lifetime Members and eight (8) Annual Members. Today, I am delighted to report that our membership has grown to Sixty-one (61) Lifetime Members and nine (9) Annual Members. Help us keep the 57th alive by becoming a 57th Alumni Association member. Visit our website at http://www.57thalumni.com for a printable application or use the one attached to this e-mail.
Bronze Plaque Project: In September I sent an e-mail requesting donations to our 2013 bronze plaque project. I am so delighted to tell you that we currently have $1637.00 donated to our project. For those who have donated; ” THANK YOU!” If you have not donated to this awesome project please consider doing so today?
2013 Reunion: Starting on 1 November, 2012 you may make reservations for the 2013 reunion in Fairborn/Dayton, OH. Our reunion hotel is the Holiday Inn, Dayton/Fairborn, which is located right in the heart of numerous local attractions, including downtown Dayton, the National Museum of the United States Air Force, the Mall at Fairfield Commons & the Greene Town Centre. Why not make it a family event because we will only be minutes away from some awesome venues. Room rates are $100.00 per day plus tax. Call 937-431-4613 to make your reservations and tell them you are with the 57th Alumni Association. Members who own RVs will again attend next year since there are numerous camps in the area including one FamCamp on the base.
Looking forward to seeing you in Dayton/Fairborn, OH in September 2013 :)
President 57th Alumni Association
For those who were at the reunion, please send me pictures that I can post on our website. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have too many to e-mail please send them to me via USPS to Woodie Hall, 5305 Forest Breeze Ct, Saint Cloud, FL 34771.