Record numbers turn out for annual base picnic

  • Published
  • By Valerie Mullett
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office
More than 3,000 Team Malmstrom personnel and their family members gathered at Sun Plaza Park Friday, July 24, to participate in the annual base picnic. Despite the 90+ degree weather, the event drew a record number of people. 

Co-sponsored by the 341st Force Support Squadron, Military Affairs Committee of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union and several other local business, the event is held every year as a way to show the military members and their families how much they are appreciated. 

The menu was a typical barbecue, but the amount of food prepared was anything but typical. Volunteers cooked and served 2,500 hamburgers, 1,000 hot dogs, and 1,000 bratwursts. More than 400 pounds of potato and macaroni salad, 15 cases of single serving assorted chips, 85 cases of soda, 100 cases of water and 1,000 ice cream cups were also provided. 

Entertainment for young and old alike was available all throughout the day. There were numerous entries in this year's car show for people to browse through and vote for their favorites. DJ music was provided for everyone's listening pleasure and a variety of informational booths were strategically placed offering giveaways such as Frisbees and key chains. 

For the children, carnival games such as face painting, a bean bag toss, karaoke, a bouncy castle and a candy making station kept the Little Warriors entertained. The fire department set up their water cannon to keep everyone cooled off and the 341st Security Forces K-9 unit put on two demonstrations. 

Finally, the Sports and Fitness Center staff executed the annual Grizzly Challenge strength competition, which also had a record number of participants, with 15. 

"Overall, I believe the event was a complete success, despite the fact we had to make some minor adjustments during it," said Senior Airman Alex Gaviria of the Grizzly Challenge. "Everyone had a good time and several people asked for more events like this in the future." 

"The picnic was a huge success," said Staci Corder, 341st FSS Marketing Director. "Anytime you can serve 3,000+ people free food and have people of all ages entertained for four hours in 90+degree weather, it is a success." 

Grizzly Challenge Winners:
Male Heavyweight: Capt. Aaron Weaver
Male Middleweight : Staff Sgt. Dane Sauer
Male Lightweight: Staff Sgt. Christopher Bautista
Female Heavyweight: 1Lt. Taren Clement
Female Middleweight: Misty Reinecke
Female Lightweight: Capt. Elizabeth Buss
Each winner won a $25 gift certificate to Scheel's. 

Car show winners:
1st place Truck: Wally Walberg, 1972 Black Chevy 4x4
1st place Sport Motorcycle: Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio, 2001 Honda
1st place Classic Motorcycle: John Deyo, 2009 Harley Davidson
1st place Classic Car: Barb and Ron Senger, 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible
1st place Muscle Car: Gary Martin, 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible
1st place Sports Car: Capt. Ryan Findley, 2008 Audi A5
1st place Street Rod: Ted and Linda Baker, 1955 Chevy
1st place Low Rider: Robert Cox, 1961 Buick 

People's Choice Awards:
Best Motorcycle: John Deyo, 2006 Harley Davidson
Best of Show: Rod Jackson, 1965 Mustang Fastback
Best Paint: Robert Cox, 1961 Buick
Each winner received a trophy and a $100 cash prize.