Members of the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau are gearing up to again host a free lunch for military members at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The chamber’s Military Affairs Committee is seeking donations for its annual Airmen Appreciation Barbecue, planned this year for Sept. 19 at Cocheo Park on base.
Committee members typically serve more than a 1,000 free meals to airmen and other military members stationed at Vandenberg in addition to the families of deployed airmen.
The lunch is a way to say thank you to the military members.
“Our committee is trying to foster closer relations between the base and the people of Lompoc, and familiarize them with all the businesses and organizations who contribute to this event,” said Sylvia King, chairwoman of the Military Affairs Committee.
The Military Affairs Committee raises thousands of dollars to buy the food for the event, and expects to need $7,000 to $8,000 this year “since meat prices have risen dramatically,” she added. “We have had quite a bit of success so far, but more is still needed.”
The committee also collects gifts from merchants to give away to military members during a raffle drawing held during the barbecue.
The Vandenberg Non-Commissioned Officers Association typically cooks the meal, while Chamber of Commerce volunteers act as servers.
The Military Affairs Committee has put on the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue for more than a dozen years, according to organizers.
Donations may be sent to the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce, Attn: Airmen Appreciation Barbecue, 111 South I St., Lompoc, CA 93436.