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Air Force Ball in good hands

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Now a captain, Jennifer Schoffstall of the 509th Weapons Squadron was an emcee for the 2006 Air Force Ball as a first lieutenant. Capt. Schoffstall is also heavily involved in the upcoming 2007 ball; as the base’s Company Grade Officer committee president, she’s overseeing the committee’s volunteers who are creating the ball program, volunteering to meet and greet guests at the event, helping set up and clean up Hangars 2 and 4 for the ball, and more. (U.S. Air Force file photo/Senior Airman Chad Watkins)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Now a captain, Jennifer Schoffstall of the 509th Weapons Squadron was an emcee for the 2006 Air Force Ball as a first lieutenant. Capt. Schoffstall is also heavily involved in the upcoming 2007 ball; as the base’s Company Grade Officer committee president, she’s overseeing the committee’s volunteers who are creating the ball program, volunteering to meet and greet guests at the event, helping set up and clean up Hangars 2 and 4 for the ball, and more. (U.S. Air Force file photo/Senior Airman Chad Watkins)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Members of the Washington Air National Guard Band of the Northwest perform at Fairchild’s 2006 Air Force Ball last September. The Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., will play at this year’s 60th Anniversary ball. The ball will be held Sept. 8 in Hangars 2 and 4. (U.S. Air Force file photo/Senior Airman Chad Watkins)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Members of the Washington Air National Guard Band of the Northwest perform at Fairchild’s 2006 Air Force Ball last September. The Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., will play at this year’s 60th Anniversary ball. The ball will be held Sept. 8 in Hangars 2 and 4. (U.S. Air Force file photo/Senior Airman Chad Watkins)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- As you walk in the door, notice the room's swirl of blue and silver, laced with the tiny white lights that provide an evening's ambiance. See the dance floor waiting to escort its couples. And look for the smiling faces waiting to greet you and direct your night of formal celebration.

In almost every facet of Fairchild's upcoming 60th Anniversary Air Force Ball, the base's company grade officers are involved. From preparing decorations to setting up the floor and greeting guests, the CGO committee is working overtime to make the Sept. 8 event a memorable occasion.

"The CGOC is mainly a professional development organization, but we also do a lot of base community service like the Air Force Ball," said committee president Capt. Jennifer Schoffstall, who was an emcee for the 2006 ball. Her plate is even fuller with this year's event, as she's overseeing CGO volunteer participation that covers preparing the ball's itinerary, clean up, working with other base agencies to market the ball, preparing decorations and more. This type of volunteer work, though, is not foreign to members of the CGOC, the captain said.

"We have a lot of community involvement, not only on the base but also with in the local area," Capt. Schoffstall said. "We're involved with organizations like Toys for Tots and Bowl for Kids, and last year the CGOC raised about $2,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters."

The committee also regularly sponsors book grants for Fairchild Airmen, holds morale-raising events on the base (such as an upcoming CRUD tournament at Club Fairchild) and brings in guest speakers to enhance career development and knowledge of the CGO corps. So really, the heavy CGO involvement in the Air Force Ball is par for the committee's course, and according to the officers involved, you can expect a spectacular night.

"The preparation is going great," said Capt. Brandon Koonce, who has worked closely with the Officers Spouses Club to plan and secure decorations for the ball. "We've already started collecting items and have things stored in the Hangars ... It's really coming together." 

(This story is the first in a four-part series on the Air Force Ball.)