Base Christmas Tree lighting, Dec. 5 – The Vance Christmas Tree lights will be turned on during a ceremony starting at 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, at the tree across from Eisenhower Elementary School. Free cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Holiday spirit will be provided in song by the Eisenhower students.

Top 3 Christmas Tree sales, Dec 1-14 – The Silver Talon Top 3 is selling Christmas Trees Dec. 1 to 14 in the parking lot north of the Community Chapel Activity Center. The tree sales lot will be open Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information contact Carl Tidwell, 580-213-7241, or Shakyra Hicks, 580-213-5107.

Snapshots with Santa, Dec 10 – Santa and Mrs. Claus will be delivered by jet to Hangar 170 for Team Vance to get their photo taken with the jolly couple. Snapshots with Santa is scheduled from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, Dec. 10. “The Secret Life of Pets” characters will make guest appearances throughout the celebration. Food, games, crafts and fun will be part of the lineup.

Bowling Center closed Dec 1-13 -- The Falcon’s Nest Bowling Center is closed until Dec. 13 for renovations.

Lt Col Kevin Smoot retiring, Dec 2 – Lt. Col. Kevin Smoot, the 71st Student Squadron director of Academics, is scheduled to retire from active duty during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, at the Vance Club. Smoot will take his T-6A fini-flight Dec. 1, returning at 3:33 p.m. to base operations. A reception will follow in the 8th/33rd Flying Training Squadrons heritage room. For more information and to RSVP, contact 2nd Lt. Zachariah Ankiel, 580-213-5207.

Daedalian/River Rats meeting, Dec 8 – The Daedalian & River Rats December meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m., Dec. 8, at the Vance Club. Social hour is at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. Dinner menu will be a holiday turkey with all the fixings. A white elephant gift exchange is planned. All Team Vance is invited. For more information and to RSVP, contact Howard Deunk, 580-213-5545 or

Vance Commissary holiday hours – The Commissary will be closed Monday, Dec. 19. The store will be open Dec. 20-23 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Commissary will be closed Dec. 25 and 26.

Veterans Affairs rep on base, Dec 9 – Dave Turner, a representative from Veterans Affairs, will be at the Vance Retiree Activities Office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec 9. Appointments are accepted and walk-ins are welcome. The retiree office is now located in Room 102 in Building 200. For more information and to make an appointment, call 213-7859.

Martial Arts road trip, Dec 10 – Transportation departs Vance Saturday morning, Dec. 10, for a road trip to Elite Combat Systems in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Sponsored by the Vance Chapel, the trip is open to Armed Forces personnel and their family members age 15 and up. For more information, contact Tony Eclavea, 580-213-7212.

Ghostriders host toy drive for Coolidge Elementary -- The 71st Operations Support Squadron is hosting a toy drive for children at Coolidge Elementary School in Enid. Put new toys in donation boxes located in radar approach control, Building 795; the 71st OSS, Building 690; Base Operations, Building 155; and the Control Tower facility, Building 158. The drive ends Dec. 20. For more information, contact Anthony Swaim at

CGOC Coats for Kids drive, Nov 28-Dec 16 – The Vance Company Grade Officer Council is collecting new and used coats for children during the Coats for Kids drive Nov. 28 to Dec. 16. Drop-off boxes are located in the 71st Medical Group, the Fitness Center, the Exchange and the Military Personnel Flight. All coats will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution.

2016 Toys for Tots drive – Vance’s participation in the 2016 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve toys for Tots program has begun. The 71st Student Squadron is heading up the drive. Donation bins are located around the base, awaiting your new, unopened and unwrapped toys for kids of all ages. Your donations will go directly to local children who otherwise might not find a present under the tree this year. Donation boxes will be in place through Dec. 9. For more information about Toys for Tots, visit

College 101 – Learn how to decide about college from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Airman & Family Readiness Center, Building 314. Hosted by the Education Services Center, the class is designed to guide you through the variety of decisions involved in choosing a degree program, college institutions, and funding considerations. For more information and to sign up, call Connie Tucker Liles, 580-213-7664.

Volunteer opportunities

Toys for Tots shopping elves needed Dec 12-14 -- Toys for Tots in Enid needs volunteers to serve as shopping elves from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 12-14. Volunteers can work all day or any part of a day. Lunch will be provided at no cost. For more information, contact Roy Wahlgren at 580-278-6025, or Gail Long at 580-548-4756.

Enid foster-care kids holiday party, Dec 13 – A holiday party for Enid children in foster care is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 13. Volunteers are needed to help with directing traffic, craft tables, photo booth, cookie table, food line, Santa pictures, bounce house and face painting. For more information, contact Master Sgt. Latanya Benson, 580-213-7278,

African American History Month committee – If you’re interested in joining the MLK and African American History Month committee, contact Staff Sgt. Kayla Caplan, 580-213-7384, or

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