Ramstein kicked off the Air Force Assistance Fund at the Hercules Theater March 27 with a testimonial by an Airman who benefited from the campaign’s contribution.
The AFAF is an annual effort created to raise funds for four charities that directly support Airmen in need: Air Force Aid Society, Air Force Enlisted Village, Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation, and the General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation. The charities support active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and Air Force dependents including surviving spouses.
Capt. Elba Tanikawa, installation project officer, said 95 percent of the proceeds go to the four charities, and the remaining amount goes back into the AFAF for future campaigns.
Thousands of Airmen benefit from the campaign annually. Just last year, Ramstein contributed $150,794 in grants and loans to 147 individuals. This year, the base’s goal is even higher.
Col. Michael Roberts, 86th Medical Group deputy commander, talked about the campaign at the kick-off event.
“This is a program about Airmen taking care of Airmen,” said Roberts. “We do this better than any other organization that exists in the United States or elsewhere.”
He then spoke to the Airmen in attendance about the two instances in which the Air Force Aid Society, one of the charities the AFAF supports, helped him.
Roberts said the AFAS financially assisted him so he could fly home from an overseas location to see his father who had a second heart attack. During his second tour in Italy, Roberts and his wife lost their car after it set on fire. After the set-back, the AFAS once again assisted him in getting a new set of wheels so he could commute to work.
To end the speech, Roberts gave a motivational send off.
“For all of you, thank you for being here, thank you for what you’re going to do, put some passion into this and let’s make some money,” he exclaimed. “It helped me; I give every year because of what I remember back in 1985 and 1992. I’ll never forget.”
AFAF will host events throughout April to reach their goal of $176,072.
For more information about future events and how to donate, contact Tanikawa at 06371-46-2452.