Winter Blast

  • Published
  • By Captain Kevin Heineman
  • 185th ARW/Public Affairs
The Winter Blast has become a mainstay at the 185th giving unit members and their families a break from the cold weather and an opportunity to have some fun with other families and friends of 185th members. The event has been held at the Long Lines Center in downtown Sioux City during the month of February for the past few years. It also is an opportunity for Lori Risdal, 185th Family Programs Coordinator, to get out some valuable information to the families of 185th members to help assist them during the deployment of the loved ones.
"We have a lot of good information and sources for people to use, many of them are free of charge, and they can help families prepare for a loved ones deployment," said Risdal. "We also have information on upcoming events to keep the families connected to what is going on here at the 185th. We want to make sure they get this information ahead of time, so they can be prepared and ready."
The event centers around a lot of fun activities such as basketball, volleyball, dodge ball, and big wheels for the kids, or the kids at heart. "I brought my husband and daughter with me, but I do not know who is having more fun, the little one or him (husband)," said Tech. Sgt. Hiliana Suarez, a recruiter for the 185th.
"I had a lot of fun going down the slide but my favorite is riding on the tricycle," said Kailey Tevis, 6 year old daughter of Public Affairs Broadcaster Staff Sgt. Jeremy Tevis. "I can go round and round really fast all over the place."
While many people were having fun playing basketball and volleyball, the main event for most of the folks who attended was the rock climbing wall. "The most popular event is the climbing wall. Most people head straight for the wall right away when they get here," said Risdal. "We also have free concessions with hotdogs, chips, and beverages."
There are a lot of different people helping out at the event. However, this year a unique crew helped out. "We have lots of different people helping out with the event this year. Some of the helpers are from one of the local area 4-H clubs," said Risdal. Ironically, the 4-H volunteers were coordinated by James Thomas, father of A1C Jim Thomas, a Tech. Controller for the 185th Communications Flight, who is currently stationed overseas.
All in all, it was a great time and free family fun for everyone who attended. Many of the attendees are already looking forward to next year's event. "You know, this event is fantastic, my little girl is running around like crazy and burning off a lot of energy. What a nice event to have during the winter time, to give the families some time away from the house," said Suarez.
If you would like to have more information on the Family Programs at the 185th, you can contact Lori Risdal at 712-233-0817 during normal business hours.

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