Academy surpasses 2014 Air Force Assistance Fund goal

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- This year, the Academy went above and beyond to help provide basic needs to fellow Airmen.

For 2014, the Academy surpassed its goal of raising $78, 603 for the Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign by more than 150 percent, bringing in a total of $118,000 in donations to provide food, shelter, utilities, vehicle repair, emergency travel and education to strapped Air Force families and retirees.

"In comparison to the other Air Force installations involved in this same time period, the Academy led the way in highest total donations, greatest percent of goal raised, most total donors, and biggest active-duty participation rate," said Lt. Col. Mark Lyman. Lyman, assigned to the 10th Medical Group, was the installation's AFAF representative.

The annual Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign kicked-off here Feb. 4. For six weeks Academy cadets, active-duty, civilians, contractors and others provided donations and participated in fundraisers to reach the Academy's AFAF goal.

The Air Force Assistance Fund includes four important charities with the premise of "Airmen helping Airmen": The Air Force Aid Society, Inc., Air Force Villages, Inc., The General and Mrs. Curtis LeMay Foundation and the Air Force Enlisted Village, Inc.

"During this campaign season, many donors told me stories of how their lives have been affected profoundly and positively by the four charities represented by the AFAF," Lyman said.

In 2013, the AFAF distributed more than $17 million to active-duty Airmen worldwide. Last year, 89 Academy Airmen and their families received $59,000 in assistance from the AFAS.

"We pulled together in a time of tight fiscal constraints to support our Air Force family," said Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Ludwig, the Academy's command chief. "I couldn't be more proud of the results this year. Our effort shows the Air Force and the tax payers supporting us that we truly do take care of our own."

Thanks to all who made this year's campaign such an outstanding success, Lyman said.

"We raised more money at the Academy than the Academy will use for the charitable needs of our own airmen," he said. "In other words, we are a base that does more than take care of our own; we are helping take care of Airmen worldwide."