Operation Kids Christmas a success at PCC Published Dec. 18, 2006 By 1st Lt. Angela Webb 30th Space Wing public Affairs VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Operation Kids Christmas kicked-off their 47th year with more than 500 volunteers, children and of course, Santa Clause at the Pacific Coast Club here Dec. 9. The 200 children that were chosen to participate in the event were from underprivileged homes in the surrounding communities of Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and Guadalupe. Col. Jack Weinstein, 30th Space Wing commander, and wife, Patricia, hosted the event. "Throughout the year, along with our launch, range and expeditionary missions, we also like to give back to the local communities that play a huge role in our success," Colonel Weinstein said. "OKC is just one way that we like to give back. "It takes a tremendous amount of work to coordinate an event of this scale and I'm proud to say that the entire committee did an outstanding job; as evidenced by the looks on the children's faces." A fun-filled day of magic, music entertainment and lunch, were some of the activities planned for the children. Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Dog, along with Vandenberg's own Hot Shot firefighters came for a short visit to wish the children happy holidays. The main event was meeting Santa and receiving a bag of gifts. In addition, each family receives a basket of food for a holiday dinner for the whole family. "We raise money to give the children and their families a Christmas that they would normally not have due to various circumstances," said Capt. Courtney Farley, Operation Kids Christmas committee chair. "The event is a year long process, but when you see both the children and volunteers having a great time, it's worth it." The OKC committee raised more than $34,000 through fundraisers and private donations throughout the year.