March ARB holds annual military appreciation picnic

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kevin Mitterholzer
  • 452 AMW Public Affairs

March Air Reserve Base held their Military Appreciation Annual Picnic at LeMay Park on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The picnic was hosted by Riverside Chamber Military Affairs Committee.

“I’ve been volunteering at this picnic for 26 years now,” said Jamil Dada, Co-chairman of Riverside Chamber Military Affairs Committee and Co-chair of the Military Appreciation Annual Picnic. “We look forward to this every year because it’s our way to give back to the men and women in uniform.”

An estimated 5,000 visitors and 350 volunteers participated in the picnic. Volunteers from various banks and credit unions, car dealers, Riverside chamber staff, and other businesses devoted their time for the picnic. It was open to all March Airmen and their dependents. Food and beverages were donated by Albertson’s and Vons.

“We had enough food to feed 6,000 just in case more people attended than anticipated,” said Dada. “There were burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, beans, chips, cookies, water and soda. We even had beer vendors, ice cream, and popsicles.”

There were numerous activities for family and friends to enjoy at the picnic. Face-painting, rock climbing, bounce houses, live music and clowns were just some of the entertainment for visitors to enjoy. However, the dunk tank is always the money maker.

“Typically, the dunk tank raises between $400 and $500,” said Dada. “That money goes back to Hangar 385 to support the troops. Everyone enjoys the chance to be able to dunk a commander, chief, or first sergeant, in the name of charity.”

On the 15th anniversary of 9-11, this year’s picnic may have had more meaning than picnics in the past.

“More people stepped up this year,” said Dada. “I think that has to do with it being so close to the 15th anniversary and Patriot Day. All of our citizens of this great nation, want to say thank you and I think that volunteering was their way of saying ‘we will never forget’ and ‘thank you for serving.”