CRESTVIEW — Soldiers who live at the Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) cantonment could use a recreation area, service members say.
A $10,000 donation from the Crestview Rotary Club will help.
Proceeds from the club’s fall corn maze in Baker funded the donation, former Rotary President Pat Dingess said.
“We really had no idea how successful it was going to be,” she said.
Members discussed several causes to help, but Heidi Blair, Northwest Florida’s United Service Organization director and wife of Rotarian John Blair, suggested the 7th SFG.
Blair mentioned the project — which includes a pavilion, volleyball and basketball courts, charcoal grills and horseshoe pits — and that was all it took.
“When Heidi came to us with the issue that was going on out at the 7th Special Forces, that won hands down,” Dingess said. “We all feel very, very strongly that we need to support our troops.”
The recreation area should get a lot use.
“There are a lot of good reasons to have that out there,” said 7th SFG Lt. Col. Chad Reiman, who accepted the check. “Enlisted officers and warrant officers have no place to gather and have a barbecue.”
Many soldiers who live at the cantonment lack transportation and can’t travel to Crestview, Fort Walton Beach or Destin, he said.
Working with the USO allowed the Rotary Club to ensure the money was earmarked for the specific project, Dingess said.
“People want to support the military (but) a lot of times they just don't know how,” Blair said. “If there are other community groups or individuals who want to donate towards the project, they can donate to the USO … and I will make sure the money is sent that way.”
WANT TO HELP? Contact Heidi Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org to donate the 7th Special Force Group (Airborne)’s recreation area.