MINOT AIR FORCE BASE - Spouses of the 5th Operations Group hosted a silent auction at Heritage Hall at Minot Air Force Base Oct. 29, which was also accompanied by an additional miniature-auction of desserts.
The group felt they needed to give more back to the military community after the historic flooding of the Souris River, so they came up with the event to raise money for Operation Warmheart. The total amount raised from the event was $3,006.
Most of the spouses involved in the coordination of the event knew personnel affected by the flood that were either temporarily displaced or completely lost their home.
"I believe all of us here at Minot AFB want to help out our fellow airmen," said Michelle VanBemmelen, member of the officer spouse's club. "These auction events allow everyone to feel as though they have helped someone, or a family, just by using their talent to create something to be auctioned off."
All auction items were bomber themed and even included a hand-painted picture donated by a spouse from the 69th Bomb Squadron, as well as a glass B-52H Stratofortress, ornaments, books and numerous creative items donated by the spouses and 5th Bomb Wing leadership.
Items at the auction also included B-52 prints and canvases created by many of the spouses.
"Spouses are always asking 'what else can we do?" said VanBemmelen. "We have amazingly talented spouses in the 5th OG who are always eager to show off and donate their talents, whether it's photography, painting, or baking specifically for these auctions."
The event also included a costume contest in which squadron commanders chose their favorite costumes and awarded the winners with AAFES gift cards.
VanBemmelen said spouses from the various squadrons on base said the event made them feel like they were helping their fellow airmen directly. Many expressed that they know it is going to be long time before Minot recovers and hoped everyone would continue to remember their fellow airmen and community members.
"Not everyone can offer hard labor to help tear down or rebuild, but we can try to keep funds plentiful for those in need for emergency aid," said VanBemmelen.
5th Operations Group spouses