The Altus Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) inducted new board officers at a meeting at Western Oklahoma State College recently. Incoming executive board officers are: John Horschler, President; Connie McQuinn, Vice President; Paul Wood, Treasurer, and Cathy Stone, Secretary. This Altus organization is dedicated to the mission, “Making Military Life Easier,” and is a part of the YMCA of the USA which has been in existence for over 150 years. There are 14 chapters of ASYMCA around the country, and the Altus branch which was established in 2001 is the smallest of all of the branches. Although small, it offers programs that provide direct benefit to the military families in the Altus area through a dedicated board of about a dozen volunteers.
The growth that Altus ASYMCA has experienced in its twelve year in existence on AAFB is a direct result of the synergy between base and the downtown community. Through relationships with military families and networks with community members, the ASYMCA does “more with less” in these tight-budget times. There is no federal funding for this organization, so donations and fundraisers are crucial to the work of this local non-profit 501©3 group in Altus. Fundraising for 2013 is in full swing, and donations can be mailed to Altus ASYMCA, PO Box 72, Altus, OK 73522.
Among the activities at Altus Air Force Base are: Airmen Against Drunk Driving (over 1000 “SAVES” each year at AAFB); Washers and Dryers for Airmen (over 800 machines delivered to military families to date); First Term Airman Center (FTAC) orientation briefings and luncheons; Monthly luncheons which serve over 100 military people each month, with 300 at Thanksgiving & Christmas; Weekly spouses’ social for spouses and preschool children;n Hearts Apart/ family programs and quarterly dinners for families of airmen who are deployed; Extreme Bowling for Airmen (bowling and pizza and non alcoholic drinks); Bible studies for Airmen;Care packages for deployed troops from AAFB; Warriors for Freedom Quilt; and Operation Retreat Haven/Letters from the Heart and Handprints from the Heart pillowcases.
The Board of Management invites everyone in the area to attend the Annual Appreciation Luncheon which will be hosted with the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Clubs on Friday, April 26 at Western Oklahoma State from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m. “We hope everyone in our community will come enjoy a delicious luncheon and fellowship with us, and see program highlights of what our Altus ASYMCA does to make military life easier for the families who are stationed at Altus Air Force Base,” Executive Director Joan Wilcoxen said. Please RSVP to Wilcoxens@sbcglobal.net or call 471-9733 if you would like to attend.