Hurlburt Spouse’s Club gives back to Airmen, families, base

  • Published
  • By Jamie Haig
  • 1st SOW Public Affairs
When the words 'spouse's club' are mentioned, an image of dainty ladies in hats and gloves sipping tea and discussing the latest tittle-tattle comes to mind.

The Hurlburt Spouse's Club is anything but that.

The HSC has more than 140 members involved in many activities on and off base helping either the Airmen directly or the community in which they live.

HSC runs the thrift shop, which just moved from The Soundside to its new location in building 90319 across from J. R. Rockers. It's one of two big revenue generators for the club.

"Since 2001, the spouse's club has donated more than $100,000 to the charitable spouse's fund from money raised here," said Kris Dahlin, a spouse who volunteers at the shop. "Our charity bazaar in fall is the other event that raises a lot of money for the fund."

The charitable fund donates money to Hurlburt Field as well as charities such as Bob Hope Village and Operation Warm Heart. It also funds the annual scholarships. The HSC has awarded more than $65,000 in scholarships to Hurlburt Field family members in the past five years.

The HSC is an all-ranks spouse's club. When the enlisted spouses club folded a few years ago, the HSC members decided it would be in the best interests for all if the two clubs merged.

"It's the coming trend to have an all-ranks club," Ms. Dahlin said. "We didn't feel it was right that the enlisted not be a part of it."

The organization meets monthly in The Soundside and they alternate between a luncheon one month and a dinner the next.

"This way, spouses working during the day will have the opportunity to come to a meeting," Ms. Dahlin said.

February's meeting is 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening, and it will have a Japanese cultural theme.

The spouses, male and female, help with Family Fest and the Sound of Independence each year.

They hold a food drive around Christmas to assist Airmen who are single parents, so they can spend the money on their children.

"We've got a variety of activities and clubs to offer something to everyone," said Bernice Whitney, HSC president. "We have a bowling team, book clubs, play groups, scrapbooking - a whole variety of events to offer members. Whether they want to be involved a lot or a little, we've got it."

The HSC Thrift Store will have an open house in April to celebrate their new digs. It took more than 40 volunteers and customers only three weeks to convert the multi-use building into the thrift shop. Many of the workers at the thrift shop have volunteered for more than 20 years. But the volunteers are concerned the move may have cost them repeat customers.

"I just like meeting the people, it's great," said Giles Adcock, retired Army. "We're hoping our customers will find us again and business will pick up again."

But the HSC is hopeful about the prospects of the new site.

'We hoped this location would be more accessible for active-duty Airmen to reach us," said Ms. Dahlin.

For more information, or to join, the Hurlburt Spouse's Club, call Susie Shaffer at 863-4939.