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Vandenberg prepares for 22nd Annual Texas Blowout

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Kicking off the Texas Blowout cowchip tossing contest, 30th Space Wing vice commander Col. Steven Winters throws a cow pie like a frisbee at Cocheo Park here Aug. 21. The Texas Blowout also included a car show and silent auction.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Kicking off a Texas Blowout contest last year, Col. Steven Winters, the 30th Space Wing vice commander, throws a cow pie like a Frisbee at Cocheo Park here Friday, Aug. 21, 2009. Proceeds from the Texas Blowout will pay for this year's Operation Kids Christmas, an annual event in which the men and women of Vandenberg sponsor approximately 200 local underprivileged children during the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 392nd Training Squadron is scheduled to host the 22nd Annual Texas Blowout fundraiser at Cocheo Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug 13.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will pay for this year's Operation Kids Christmas, an annual event in which the men and women of Vandenberg sponsor approximately 200 local underprivileged children during the holidays. For more than 50 years, the Vandenberg community has supported children from Lompoc, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley.

"We anticipate a great turnout," said Capt. Matthew Crosman, the Texas Blowout coordinator from the 392nd TRS. "Last year we had more than 1,000 people show up. We are hoping for something similar to last year's event. Although we organize this event, Team V does a nice job of supporting it."

The 2010 Texas Blowout will feature numerous family-fun activities and will include a disk jockey, silent auction, cow pie toss by base leadership, rock climbing wall, bouncy castle, bake sale, games, funnel cakes, cotton candy and other miscellaneous food and drink. Sports Cuts and Best Buy will also have tents present at the blowout.

"This year we scheduled the event before school starts to get more families to come out," Captain Crosman said. "Last year school was already in session so not as many kids were able to attend."

This year Team V is celebrating the 22th anniversary of the Texas Blowout and plans are in the works to make it the biggest yet, but that will require base participation.

"This is a unique opportunity to provide support for a great cause," said Captain Crosman. "All of the proceeds from this event go directly to Operation Kids Christmas, which is a non-profit organization that provides a Christmas party for less fortunate families in the local area. So, this is a great cause that I would hope everyone would want to support."

Operation Kids Christmas originated in 1959 when Mike Petlansky, from the Air Force Logistics Command test site office here, began Operation Big Brother with a $1,800 budget and 100 children in attendance. Today, the operating budget is approximately $23,000 and 200 children attend annually.

The Operation Kids Christmas program's preparation requires a year-round effort, which includes the Texas Blowout. The blowout is the primary fundraiser for program and helped raise $18,000 last year. The event is open to anyone with access to the base.

Tickets are scheduled to go on sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at the Base Exchange and Commissary. Ticket prices are as follows: $20 for military personnel E-6 and above; $10 for military personnel E-5 and below; $8 for individual military admission; and $10 for civilian (individual) admission.

For more information about the Texas Blowout, call Capt. Matthew Crosman at 606-2225.