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Members of Team Malmstrom play a game of musical chairs at the Operation Holiday Cheer Wrap-Up Party at the Grizzly Bend on Dec. 12. Nearly 60 prizes were given away at the party, organized by Malmstrom’s first sergeants. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen)
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First sergeants throw another successful Operation Holiday Cheer

Posted 12/26/2012   Updated 12/26/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

12/26/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Despite icy roads, blizzard conditions and base-wide inspections, more than 500 members of Team Malmstrom came out to participate in this year's Operation Holiday Cheer from Nov. 9 to Dec. 12.

Organized by Malmstrom's first sergeants, the five-week friendly competition was open to all Department of Defense ID cardholders at Malmstrom Air Force Base who were 18 years or older. Events included dodgeball, 3-on-3 soccer, 9-pin no-tap bowling, 3-on-3 basketball and a scavenger hunt. First place winners received $300, second place received $200, third place received $100 and one random participant received $100 at every tournament.

The sporting events all led up to a Wrap-Up Party at the Grizzly Bend on Dec. 12, which brought in more than 250 members of Wing One. Nearly 60 prizes were given away, to include a solid wood entertainment center valued at $500, laptops, a Nintendo WII U and a trip for two to anywhere in the U.S. valued at $1,500.

"Every year the first sergeants come together and organize Operation Holiday Cheer," said Master Sgt. Colin Crandall, 341st Medical Group first sergeant. "Thanks to Katrina Cichosz, we gave away some great prizes tonight. We do all this to boost morale for the troops and let them know that there are fun things to do here at Malmstrom. Fitness is a huge part of our culture and people love healthy competition. Not only does this encourage team work but at some of the events, like the soccer tournament, there were people who had never even met each other and they ended up coming in third place."

The following were OHC tournament winners:

Dodgeball tournament
741st Missile Security Forces Squadron team

3-on-3 soccer tournament
"Security Forces" team: Staff Sgt. Jaime Gutierrez, 341st Security Forces Squadron; Staff Sgt. Steffen Lopez, 741st MSFS; 1st Lt. Joel Lobisser, 741st MSFS; Master Sgt. Eric Rethage, 341st Security Forces Squadron

9-Pin, no tap bowling tournament
"Holy-Com-Horse" team: Tech. Sgt. Lisa Dunn, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron; Brian Martinez, 341st Communications Squadron; Randy McFadden, 341st CS; Michael Liedle, 341st CS; Chaplain (Capt.) Keith Manry, 341st Missile Wing; Staff. Sgt. Zachary Long, 819th RED HORSE Squadron

Scavenger hunt
"Bison Brawlers" team: 1st Lt. Katherine Mines, 341st Force Support Squadron; 2nd Lt. Evan Mines, 341st CES; Tech. Sgt. Martin Redenius, 341st CES

3-on-3 basketball tournament
"341st CES" team: Airmen 1st Class Matthew Gambrell; Justin Long; and Booker Hinton

Grand Prize Winner
Senior Airman Alexander Stinefast, 341st CES

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