News>'Tuff Mudder' Kicks Off CFC 2012 at Lajes Field
(l-r) Chief Master Sgt. Reginald Murrell, 65th Mission Support Group, superintendant, Col. David Parr, 65th Air Base Wing, vice commander, and Airman Steven De La Cruz, 65th Air Base Wing, emergency actions controller, sign the first Combined Federal Campaign Overseas pledge forms during the kick-off event, Sept. 17, 2012, Lajes Field. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chenzira Mallory)
Master Sgt. Rafael Kaup, 65th Operations Support Squadron, NCOIC combat weather, runs through a muddy obstacle course during the ‘Tuff Mudder’ challenge to kick-off this year’s Combined Federal Campaign, Sept. 17, 2012, Lajes Field. T he Combined Federal Campaign Overseas kicked off today, Sept. 17 and runs through Nov. 16, 2012. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chenzira Mallory)
Airman 1st Class Austin Jeanneret, 65th Communications Squadron, crawls through a mud puddle during a 'Tuff Mudder' challenge, Sept. 17, 2012, Lajes Field. This year, Lajes kicked-off the Combined Federal Campaign season with a 'Tuff Mudder' challenge. (Photo by Lucas Silva)
Master Sgt. Travis Chaney, first sergeant, 65th Security Forces and Operations Support Squadrons, and his 13-year old son John, compete in a ‘Tuff Mudder’ challenge, Sept. 17, 2012, Lajes Field. This year, Lajes Field organized a ‘Tuff Mudder’ challenge to kick off the Combined Federal Campaign. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Chenzira Mallory)
Maj. Lawrence Wyatt Jr., 65th Security Forces commander, leads a team of defenders through muddy obstacle courses during the ‘Tuff Mudder’ challenge to kick-off this year’s Combined Federal Campaign, Sept. 17, 2012, Lajes Field. The Combined Federal Campaign Overseas kicked off today, Sept. 17 and runs through Nov. 16, 2012. (Photo by Lucas Silva)
Izabella, 10-years old, daughter of Tech. Sgt. Dustin Guiducci, 65th Operations Support Squadron, was the youngest competitor during the 'Tuff Mudder' challenge, Sept. 17, 2012, Lajes Field. This year, Lajes Field organized a 'Tuff Mudder' challenge to kick off the Combined Federal Campaign. (Photo by Lucas Silva)
by 1st Lt Mark Graff
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
9/17/2012 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- The 65th Air Base Wing kicked off the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign here today, with a Tuff Mudder 5K run and obstacle course.
The mud run was organized by the Lajes Field CFC committee as a unique way to start the local campaign off with plenty of excitement. The CFC is a voluntary, philanthropic program designed to provide all Federal employees an opportunity to improve quality of life for all through monetary donations.
Competitors and spectators, alike were able to sign their CFC contribution forms at the event.
"The entire CFC committee - about 30 of us - put the course together. We have over 125 people participating," said Master Sgt. Keith Morales, Lajes Field 2012 CFC co-project officer. The event also drew about 100 spectators. "All total we raised just over $700 today."
'Tuff Mudders' dressed in squadron spirit gear and creative costumes conquered a course filled with obstacles including a steep climb up a muddy hill, a swimming pool full of mud and running through spraying fire hoses.
This year's CFC kickoff event continues a trend of strong participation and contribution amongst Lajes Field Airmen.
"There's no place I'd rather be to kick off the Combined Federal Campaign than Lajes Field. Last year we raised more than $90,000 and more than 94 percent of our community contributed. This year we're going to do it even better," announced Col. David 'Bogey' Parr, 65th Air Base Wing vice commander.
As expected, the Lajes Field goals for 2012 are to contribute more money and foster an even stronger participation rate.
"Last year they set the bar pretty high for us. This year we're going to try for 95 percent (contribution rate). We feel that with everybody's participation, we can reach that 95 percent," said Morales, 65th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent.
Participation was not limited to active duty members. Spouses and children of Lajes Airmen participated in the mud run, including a handful of athletes from the Lajes High School cross country team.
Yuga Yamashiro, 15, alongside some of his teammates, completed the muddy obstacle course in less than 25 minutes. Yamashiro is the son of Tech. Sgt. David Cameron, a member of the 65th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
"The race was pretty hard with the obstacles. It was a good workout. I hit my knee, but that didn't slow me down. I just wanted to win," said Yamashiro.
Staff Sgt. Marcus Hines from the 65th Civil Engineering Squadron won the race with an overall time of 22:35. He said the obstacles made the Tuff Mudder especially difficult.
"That was a tough course. I'm pretty tired and wet... The pool was pretty tough. It was a couple feet deep with mud at the bottom. I'm about to go back out and root for my team," said Hines, a heavy equipment operator.
Even with the excitement surrounding the mud run and the obstacle course, the overall focus of the morning remained on CFC contribution.
Chief Master Sgt. Robert Marquez, 65th Communication Squadron superintendent said the mud run was unlike any previous CFC kickoff he has participated in.
"What a great way to start the CFC off in style! In my 28 years of service, I've never seen anything like this. The infectious enthusiasm around this base is beyond compare," said Marquez.
"(The CFC is) people helping people... we need to contribute and everybody has today. If people have the means to contribute, it's a great thing."
The Combined Federal Campaign runs from Sept. 17 - Nov. 16, 2012. Contact your unit representative to contribute today.