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Vandenberg plans for annual Texas Blowout

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Hundreds of Airmen and their families turned out for the Texas Blowout Barbecue at Cocheo Park on Aug. 24.  The event raised more than $18,000 for the 48th annual Operation Kids Christmas event, a celebration which provides more than 200 underpriveledged children with Christmas presents and a holiday dinner gift certificate.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Eric Chin)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Hundreds of Airmen and their families turned out for the Texas Blowout Barbecue at Cocheo Park. The event raised $20,000 for the 49th annual Operation Kids Christmas event, a celebration which provides more than 200 underpriveledged children with Christmas presents and a holiday dinner gift certificate. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Eric Chin)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 21st Annual Texas Blowout, which raises money for Vandenberg's Operation Kids Christmas, will be held at Cocheo Park on Aug. 21.

For 40 years the men and women of Vandenberg have annually sponsored 200 local underprivileged children from Lompoc, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley.

The event that eventually became OKC originated in 1959. Mike Petlansky, from the Air Force Logistics Command test site office, began Operation Big Brother with an $1,800 budget and 100 children in attendance. Today, the operating budget is approximately $23,000 and 200 children attend annually.

OKC preparation requires year-round effort, which includes the Texas Blowout. This family-friendly event is the major fundraiser for OKC and last year helped raise $20,000.

This year's blowout is being sponsored by the 381st Training Group Schoolhouse Association and will consist of numerous family-fun events. Activities include cow-chip tossing, a bake-off competition, a silent auction, a live auction, a bike/truck/hot rod show, plenty of children's activities and more. Additional information will be posted in the base bulletin and points of contact will work with units to sell tickets.

Tickets for the event include lunch, drinks and kids games and they are on sale now. All proceeds will go to benefit OKC. For more information, contact Capt. Erin Daniels at TexasBlowout@hotmail.com.