ACTIVITIES


REVISITING CHAPTER ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
 

Colonel Bob Mallow and his wife, Shirley, 

proudly display our 50th Anniversary Award


          Black Hills Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America turned 50 years old in November 2020.  Deferring to the hazards of Covid-19 early in the year, meetings were first postponed – then cancelled.  A planned December celebration, including a speaker from national MOAA headquarters had to be scrapped.  As it turned out, there was no anniversary celebration. 


 With 2021 upon us, we know that the coronavirus remains a very huge problem.  Nonetheless, with development and distribution of vaccines and precautionary measures, we’re optimistic about our future.


While a national MOAA representative wasn’t able to visit our chapter in 2020 – and there was no big celebration – MOAA President, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret) was kind enough to to send us a note of congratulations and a “Fiftieth Anniversary Affiliate Award” commemorating our 50 years of service.  (AboveLCDR Walker also reported on a new proposal being undertaken by Ellsworth Air Force Base to include Native Americans in their "Wing Man" Day activities in the large Pride hangar.  The focus is around a march in native dress and instruction given in a Pow-Wow format with dancing and music.  She suggested MOAA may want to consider sponsoring the JROTC units from the reservations to attend these events in their uniforms.  It was agreed that further information is required as to what our involvement might entail. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



         Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives, including the events and planned activities of the MOAA-Black Hills Chapter.  Nonetheless, we'll be striving to resurrect our vitality  in coming months as we plan for the future.

                Here are a few highlights from some of our past gatherings.
         
         Margaret Cowan – shown above – was enjoying the prospect of a gift she had selected during the "Gift Exchange" as part of the Black Hills Chapter 2019 Christmas gathering at the American Legion Post #22. Alas, this gift – among most others – finally fell into the hands of others.  Fortunately, all participants went home with a gift! 

           It was a festive and fun time for about two dozen chapter members celebrating the holiday season.  Traditionally, as with this session, no speakers are scheduled for December meetings.  Shown above from left-to-right are Cowan guests (and new members!) CAPT Bill Rhode and his wife Elizabeth; Margaret Cowan; COL Jim Cowan; and LT Mary Piper.  Both COL Cowan and LT Piper as past presidents of the Black Hills Chapter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Our fall meeting of 2019 (September 20) featured Major Jose Crespo, Commander of the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Ellsworth AFB. In remarks that were both informative and entertaining, there was little doubt that he was a hit with chapter members.

          It was our first gathering at Ellsworth AFB in about two years.  Crespo not only provided insight into his own Logistics Readiness Squadron, but touched upon the significant impact Ellsworth has on the Rapid City area.  During his overview of the 28th bomb wing mission and activities, he also talked about the significant potential growth the base will see in coming years with the anticipated arrival of the new B-21 aircraft.

        Recognizing the breadth and depth of military experience held by many of our "seasoned" MOAA chapter members, Major Crespo said we must have some wonderful stories to share and expressed interest in hosting MOAA at a future meeting.  We're exploring a return to Ellsworth for our first meeting in 2020.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

       Back in April 2019, President Bonnie Walker welcomed another new member – Major Christopher VanDelist, U.S. Army Reserve, of Rapid City.  LCDR Walker also encouraged members to attend any of the JROTC awards ceremonies scheduled for Central High School on April 22nd and Douglas High School on May 9th.

New officers were also named at the April meeting.  Commander Larry Miller was elected President, and Captain Roger Whorton was chosen as Vice-President.  Congratulations to both of these Spearfish members.  Colonel Bob Mallow of Black Hawk agreed to remain as chapter Treasurer, and LCDR Bonnie Walker of Piedmont will return as Secretary.

Members commended LCDR Walker for her leadership as President over the past several years and expressed appreciation for the good work done by Colonel Jim Cowan of Rapid City, who stepped up to serve as "Acting Secretary" and Colonel Mallow, who has agreed to continue as Treasurer.  Black Hills Chapter owes each of these individuals a debt of great gratitude!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In October 2018, President Walker briefed us on her work to provide MOAA recognition for the JROTC (Junior ROTC) units that have existed for many years on the West River Indian reservations.  She attended their annual awards ceremonies and presented MOAA achievement medals to their deserving young people.  Her visits were very well received, and President Walker is recognized for her single-handed efforts to get these JROTC units included in the MOAA program.

LCDR Walker also reported on a new proposal being undertaken by Ellsworth Air Force Base to include Native Americans in their "Wing Man" Day activities in the large Pride hangar.  The focus is around a march in native dress and instruction given in a Pow-Wow format with dancing and music.  She suggested MOAA may want to consider sponsoring the JROTC units from the reservations to attend these events in their uniforms.  It was agreed that further information is required as to what our involvement might entail.