Showcase, Back-to-School Fun Run bring community members to Katterbach

U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach community members begin the five-kilometer Back-to-School Fun Run.

U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach community members begin the five-kilometer Back-to-School Fun Run.

Story and photos by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs

ANSBACH, Germany (Aug. 31, 2016) – Many different on- and off-post organizations took part in the Community Showcase at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach to meet with community members at the Katterbach Fitness Center.

The Back-to-School Fun Run preceded the annual showcase, wherein several participants in the child, youth, and adult categories won prizes.

The intent of the showcase was for community members to find out what services are available to them and to register with some of those services.

To meet the different organizations, visitors to the showcase walked through the fitness center’s main basketball court hall to the different on- and off-post organizations, who had tables set up there.

Col. Benjamin C. Jones, USAG Ansbach commander, started the event off the showcase and the run by speaking to a crowd of service providers, event organizers, showcase visitors and fun runners.

Col. Benjamin C. Jones speaks before the Back-to-School Fun Run.

Col. Benjamin C. Jones speaks before the Back-to-School Fun Run.

“I come to the showcase today not only as a commander but also as a newcomer,” said Jones, who took command of the garrison in July. “As a newcomer, the showcase gives us all an opportunity to learn about what the garrison has to offer.”

USAG Ansbach’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation organized both the fun run and the community showcase. Several of their services were there, including Army Community Service; Child, Youth and School Services; the entertainment division; library services; marketing; Family Advocacy Program; Exceptional Family Member Program; New Parent Support Program; Sports and Fitness; and more. Throughout the event, the Sports and Fitness division held class demonstrations community members were invited to join. The entertainment division held a Sound of Music flash mob in anticipation for their upcoming performance of the musical.

Community members visit USAG Ansbach service providers at the Community Showcase.

Community members visit USAG Ansbach service providers at the Community Showcase.

Many other garrison organizations had representation inside as well. Several commercial sponsors and other organizations held raffles for prizes, including consumer electronics and a two-night stay at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. The Voting Assistance Office showed newcomers how to register for an overseas absentee ballot. The garrison’s Public Affairs Office handed out community guides and taught visitors about the garrison’s smartphone application. The Military Police displayed their equipment. The Veterinary Treatment Facility talked to newcomers about their four-legged Family members. The Directorate of Public Works talked housing and environmental management with community members. Many other organizations had tables, giveaways, and talked with visiting community members.

Charles and Moriah Fuller, left, watch their daughter Hannah leave the USAG Ansbach's hydraulic emergency ladder under the guidance of Stefan Groetschel, chief of USAG Ansbach's Fire and Emergency Service.

Charles and Moriah Fuller, left, watch their daughter Hannah leave the USAG Ansbach’s hydraulic emergency ladder under the guidance of Stefan Groetschel, chief of USAG Ansbach’s Fire and Emergency Service.

Several organizations had stations with interactive components outside as well. Outdoor Recreation had a mobile rock-climbing pillar set up. The Safety Office set up a bicycle safety rodeo, whereby participants learned how to bike safely and then rode through an obstacle course. Community members had the opportunity to simulate impaired driving by wearing distortional goggles and driving a golf cart in a demonstration operated by the Army Substance Abuse Program and Directorate of Emergency Services. American Legion Post 1982 gave out hot dogs. The Muna Museum had a static display and costumed members to demonstrate the historical U.S. Army equipment they have on hand. The Fire Department of the Directorate of Emergency Service had their cherry picker set up, a simulated smoke house, and inflatable bounce house set up.

During his remarks, Jones thanked the service providers and all the event coordinators. He concluded by thanking the community members as well.

“A big thanks goes back to you, our USAG Ansbach community members,” said Jones. “You’re the reason we’re here. I’m happy to count myself among you as a community member, and I look forward to working with all of you.”

With the help of Patrick Kabuye, DFMWR’s director of sports and fitness, and Gary Sowders, a recreational aide who acted as a master of ceremonies, the children from ages 5 through 11 – and a few younger children – formed up for the run down the boardwalk toward the Katterbach Kaserne roundabout and back. Jones, Command Sgt. Maj. Derek R. Cuvellier, director of Public Works Walt Mattil, and Sowders gave the finishers ribbons and medals for their efforts.

Col. Benjamin C. Jones, center right, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, congratulates a young 500-meter fun runner on his accomplishment.

Col. Benjamin C. Jones, center right, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, congratulates a young 500-meter fun runner on his accomplishment.

The approximately five-kilometer run, which started following the children’s run, included children and youths older than 11, adults 18 and older, adults with strollers, and adults and their leashed dogs. Spc. Emerson Thayer of the Ansbach Army Health Clinic finished first.


For more photos from the event, visit the Flickr page here.

For more on the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, visit here.

For more on the USAG Ansbach Sports and Fitness programs, visit here.

For more on many other garrison services, visit the garrison directory here.

To access the directory more easily through a smartphone, visit information on The USAG Ansbach App here.

To read this story as it appears on the Army News Service, visit www.army.mil/article/174297.

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