Crowds come out for Cannon Appreciation Day

Correspondent photos: Ronnie Cain Society of Creative Anachronism member Wayne Painter, also known as Hrothgar Thorenson, shows the Love family armor used for the SCA’s battles. From left is mother Tabitha, George, 6, Charlie, 8, and Mabel, 4.

Correspondent photos: Ronnie Cain
Society of Creative Anachronism member Wayne Painter, also known as Hrothgar Thorenson, shows the Love family armor used for the SCA’s battles. From left is mother Tabitha, George, 6, Charlie, 8, and Mabel, 4.

By Anna George
Correspondent

Along with a raindrop or two, the people of Portales came out to show their thanks to the Cannon Air Force base community at the Fifth Annual Cannon Appreciation Day.

The Portales Military Affairs Committee (PMAC) took four months and $6,000 to organize the event with mud volleyball, games, burgers and hot dogs, and a musical performance from the Fusion World Dance company.

Fusion World Dance Director Yolanda Chavez said the dance company wanted to get involved to support the air force base while spreading the word about world dance.

“It’s important to be here so we can help out while spreading cultural awareness,” said Chavez.

She said this event, their first Cannon event, is also important because they have multiple Cannon members in their dance company.

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) for the Clovis/Portales area said they got involved for similar reasons.

“We thought it would be a good way to show people what we do and show them our support,” said the chapter president or seneschal, as they call it, Johnny Casady.

They brought ‘Fight a Knight’ so the kids would be able to fight a knight with a sword, helmet, and armor.

The SCA and the Fusion World Dancers were not the only supporters of the event. The Portales McDonalds, recreation center and the ENMU chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity all brought mud volleyball teams.

Kappa Sigma brought a team but also offered their assistance for preparing the event.

Kappa Sigma 2015-16 President Tyler Herring said they set up the tables and chairs, refereed, helped make the food, and clean out the pits for the volleyball.

“If you look at any part of this event, we probably had something to do with it because military hero appreciation is one of our biggest things, even nationally,” Herring said.

The Portales Chamber of Commerce also helped in the way of hosting, donating port-a-potties, and helping pass out food.

“We want to get to know our military people living in the Portales area by showing them some good old Portales hospitality,” said Chamber Director Karl Terry.

Food Services Accountant and Corp. for Cannon Jacob Downing said he enjoys events like this because they help him get involved in the community.

“These events are amazing and really make us feel welcome,” he said.

Rebecca Downing, his wife, said she liked the event because they were actually able to attend it. She said a lot of times, when her husband is busy at work, she wants to attend activities like this but never hears about them.

“This is one of the few things we have heard about and I absolutely love it,” she said.

Cpt. Marcus Anthony said he agrees that it is good to have something to go out and do in Portales and he never imagined anybody would put so much into an event like this.

“It’s nice that they took time out of their day and money out of their pockets plus you don’t always get events like this that are made just to appreciate us,” he said.

Wing Commander Ben Maitre said he had a great time getting involved with the community.

“It’s been a great opportunity for the whole community to come together,” he said.

He said events like this are especially important because it gives the people on base an opportunity to wind down and get away from work for a while.

“It’s easy to get really focused on work and this is a great opportunity to take a Saturday afternoon to cook some great food and communicate with one another,” Maitre said.