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AF Charity Ball raises $500,000 for AFAS

Members of the Air Force community dance the night away at the fourth annual Air Force Charity Ball March 24 at the Bolling Clubs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna H. Parry)

Members of the Air Force community dance the night away at the fourth annual Air Force Charity Ball March 24 at the Bolling Clubs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna H. Parry)

Members of the Air Force community eat a four-course meal prepared by enlisted aides at the fourth annual Air Force Charity Ball March 24 at the Bolling Clubs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna H. Parry)

Members of the Air Force community eat a four-course meal prepared by enlisted aides at the fourth annual Air Force Charity Ball March 24 at the Bolling Clubs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna H. Parry)

BOLLING AFB, D.C. -- The fourth annual Air Force Charity Ball was the most successful fundraiser since its conception, raising more than $500,000 for the Air Force Aid Society March 24 at the Bolling Clubs.

"We received fantastic support from the Air Force and our corporate sponsors in raising money for our Airmen and their families," said Christine Bickel, Air Force District of Washington director of protocol.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley co-hosted the star-studded evening highlighted by an impressive list of military and civilian leadership.

The AFAS is the official charity of the Air Force. Established in 1942, the organization is best known for supporting active duty members and their families with short-term financial aid. However, the society also contributes significant financial support through education programs. Currently, more than 7,000 Airmen and family members are pursuing an education with support from the AFAS.

"The charity ball highlights the Air Force calendar because it is an opportunity to give from the heart and help our Airmen," said Secretary Wynne in his address to more than 720 guests in attendance. "Air Force Aid Society helps our Airmen when times get hard."

This year's Air Force Charity Ball raised $50,000 more than last year.

"The fact that the ball raised more than half-a-million dollars is outstanding," said retired Lt. Gen. John D. Hopper Jr., chief executive director of the AFAS. "Every dollar raised will be used as it always has, to help Airmen and their families."

For the fourth year in a row, the ball was held on Bolling and involved overarching support from a variety of wing organizations.

Overall, 11th units such as services, multimedia, security forces, protocol, , civil engineer, medical communications, public affairs, the Air Force Honor Guard, the Air Force Band and Air Force Television ensured a "world-class success."

"Thanks to the Air Force District of Washington, 11th Wing and Bolling Clubs this evening was a success," General Moseley said. "The charity ball couldn't be done with out you."

The United States Air Force Band, 11th Services Division and the 11th Security Forces Squadron were out in full force. Several ensembles from the USAF Band performed throughout the evening. 11th SVS and volunteers provided food and bar service. The 11th SFS provided interior and exterior security as well as parking supervision.

"Our Airmen did an excellent job supporting the entire event," said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery K. Bowes, 11th Wing command chief. "And they did it all with a professional attitude."

The Air Force Officers Wives Club started planning the event in September 2006. Plans are already under way for next year's charity ball, expected to be held in the spring of 2008.