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Aug 16, 2019 11:18:48 AM

Geared up: Airpower Foundation helps military children through Operation Camp

HQ-2019-airpower-1HQ-2019-airpower-6Airpower Foundation helped military children participate and get geared up for Armed Services YMCA camp this summer. 

Airpower Foundation’s funding supported residential and day camp experiences for military children from Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth and San Antonio in Texas. Funding last year and this year supported Healthy Kids Day for JRB Fort Worth children attending Camp Carter. Airpower Foundation’s generosity also funded camp survival kits for campers — backpacks full of gear, including a sleeping bag, beach towel, sunscreen, and insect repellent – given to all Armed Services YMCA Campers attending Camp Carter.

 “These backpacks funded by Airpower Foundation surmounted a hurdle that families sometimes face when sending their kids to camp,” Charlie Williams, Chief Operating Officer / Chief Programs Officer at Armed Services YMCA National Headquarters, said. “Gear and items needed for camp can be expensive and include items not every military family has readily available.”

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Airpower Foundation Board members Sid Eppes, Kevin Pottinger and John Johnson; Armed Services YMCA board member Larry Hughes; Capt. Jonathan Townsend, Commanding Officer Naval Air Station JRB Fort Worth; and leadership of YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth and Armed Services YMCA, visited Camp Carter on Wednesday, July 24. They made the visit to see how their support is strengthening our military families.

“The facilities… were outstanding and the kids were having a great time. We enjoyed having lunch with the camp directors and especially the kids to hear about the different programs they participate in while at camp,” Sid Eppes, Airpower Foundation Chairman, said. “The Airpower Foundation is all about supporting military families and this certainly is an example of our grants at work.”Camp Carter is the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth’s camp, located less than 20 minutes from downtown Fort Worth. The camp features fishing, canoeing, a community garden, a swimming pool, and ropes course.

Kevin Pottinger, retired U.S. Air Force Major General and Vice Chair Airpower Foundation, concurred. “Seeing the kids’ smiles, their engagement in team activities and seeing mentors who love their job puts a big smile on my face,” he said. “Thank you Armed Services YMCA for investing the Airpower Foundation funds in such an important way.”

“Visiting Camp Carter and seeing the excitement in the eyes of the campers, the natural beauty of the campgrounds, and the care and commitment demonstrated by the counselors and staff was extremely powerful,” Larry Hughes, Armed Services YMCA national board member, said. “It was very clear to me that this experience is life-changing for the participants, as they build confidence and develop their personal leadership in age-appropriate ways. I am grateful to the Airpower Foundation and the Armed Services YMCA for providing our military children with this powerful developmental opportunity. I am also proud that my organization, 7-Eleven, Inc., has partnered with Armed Services YMCA to support our military families."

Airpower Foundation has been a supporter of youth development programs through the Armed Services YMCA for multiple years.

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The Armed Services YMCA’s core programs, including camp and camping opportunities, provide social, recreational and educational enrichment for military children and families. Armed Services YMCA camping opportunities are offered at minimal cost to military families through Operation Camp.

For military children, camps and camping are an opportunity to make friends, try new activities and learn new skills.

“Camps encourage youth development and healthy living, which is a part of our core mission of strengthening our military family,” Ashish Vazirani, Chief Development Officer at Armed Services YMCA, said. “We hope to provide much needed recreational and bonding opportunities, connecting military kids with others who have similar experiences as members of the military community. Our objective through Operation Camp is to create lifetime memories for a military child.”

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ABOUT ARMED SERVICES YMCA:

The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2018, we engaged more than 225,000 people in our programs and delivered nearly 1 million points of services to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family. Visit our website to see how you can join us in supporting military families.