Cannon rally plans evolving
Published: Saturday, June 24th, 2006
With raffles for a car, an F-16 simulator ride, and a tour of Cannon Air Force Base, this mission accomplished celebration is morphing into a gala event. “It just keeps evolving,” Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Director Ernie Kos said. The “Operation Kept Cannon” rally is a chance for the community to celebrate Cannon’s new mission. It is a joint venture of the Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 50, a local group that lobbies for Cannon. Cannon would have closed by 2010 if a mission had not been found, by the decree of a federal commission. But the Air Force Special Operations 16th Wing will occupy the base, ensuring its survival, Air Force officials announced Tuesday. “The event will be a celebration of patriotism,” said Kos, who encourages attendees to wear red, white and blue. The Chamber expects 2,000 to 2,500 people will attend the event, Kos said. The Clovis News Journal previously reported that a ride in a F-16 would be raffled at the event. Instead four families will win the chance to be “distinguished visitors for a day” at Cannon. The prize includes a look at the operations of the 27th Fighter Wing before its ensuing deactivation. Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce representatives said the family tour would be led by 27th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Scott West. The day’s activities will include F-16 flight simulator rides, weapons load training and K-9 demonstration. The winners will also tour the Air Traffic Control tower, engine shop and the explosive ordinance disposal shop. The exact date of the distinguished visitor tour has yet to be determined, according to officials. For those who want to go above and beyond simple attendance of the rally, several options are available, Kos said. Volunteers to prepare for and staff the event are needed, and monetary donations, or donations in-kind for businesses, are welcome, she said. “Even something as simple as bottled water would be appreciated,” she said. Send donations to the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, in care of the Committee of 50, at 105 E. Grand St., Clovis, New Mexico, 88101. They can also be dropped off. Those interested in volunteering can visit officials at the Chamber.
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