Front Range military community comes together for SnoFest

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- This past weekend, the 21st Space Wing had the distinct pleasure of hosting the 18th annual SnoFest event at the Keystone Resort, Colo. It was a great weekend with more than 3,000 members from Front Range military community participating in this year's festivities.
Families and personnel from Buckley AFB, F.E. Warren AFB, Schriever AFB, the Air Force Academy, Ft. Carson and the entire Team Peterson community joined together in one of the most incredible events I've had the privilege of being a part of. From the ski and snowboard races, cardboard derby and evening parties all the way to the performances by Tops in Blue and the Air Force Academy band "Pegasus," the esprit de corps and camaraderie exhibited by those who attended was tremendous. 

Speaking of Tops in Blue, their high-energy musical performance drew a packed house the night of Jan. 25. The show paid tribute to our Air Force history by combining six decades of historical footage with songs from each era -- music our Airmen and their families grew up with. The show put on by this world renowned group was clearly a highlight of the weekend. 

Even the stars came out for SnoFest. The "Reel Fun" party on the night of Jan. 26 was our nod to Hollywood and gave participants the chance to dress up as their favorite star or movie character. Who needs the Oscars? We had our own star-studded evening, complete with red carpet and glitz. The stellar evening, topped off with a dazzling performance by Pegasus, was very entertaining. 

This year's SnoFest included participation by Adaptive Adventures, a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing the quality of life for the physically disabled. One of the ways it does this is by teaching men and women to ski within the limitations of their disabilities. More than 15 wounded warriors, severely injured while fighting in the Global War on Terror or in accidents beyond their control, participated at SnoFest. It was a genuine honor to meet these heroes. They are a reminder we are one military family and together we can do great things. 

An event of this magnitude takes a team of hard-working, dedicated people. That being said, I would like to thank the 21st Services Squadron for their leadership with this year's SnoFest. Joining them in making this such a special event was the 21st Contracting Squadron, 21st Space Communications Squadron, Visual Information, Protocol and 21st Space Wing Public Affairs. The hard work and professionalism displayed by these outstanding teams made all the difference and is one of the primary reasons SnoFest was so successful. 

I would also like to give a special thanks to Mr. Dan Schofield, 21st Services Squadron deputy director, for his role in putting together the entire event. Along with the other SnoFest planning committee members and the many workers and volunteers from participating military installations, their dedication and expertise have made SnoFest the premier winter event for our military families. I can't say enough about the work these folks have done! 

Finally, I need to thank our commercial sponsors who were vital in making this year's SnoFest the best ever. It was a record year for corporate sponsorship and their generous contributions allowed us to significantly defray the costs for all SnoFest participants. 

Sponsorship donations enabled the expansion of family activities such as discounted vouchers for childcare, free ice skate rental, the free use of the tubing hill and the Tops in Blue show. Combined with the warm hospitality shown to us by Keystone Resort, we could not have asked for more from our community partners. I heard repeatedly throughout the weekend ... clearly this was the best SnoFest ever.