The AOG Service Spotlight highlights members of the Air Force Academy family (grads, cadets, family and friends of the Academy) every month who perform outstanding service that makes a positive and meaningful impact in their communities and beyond. Let these inspiring stories foster a spirit of service within the Air Force Academy family and inspire further commitment to a lifetime of service.
Space Coast Chapter Launch
This month's service spotlight highlights the Space Coast Chapter of the AOG. During these times when many feel more separated, a group of USAFA grads worked to bring their community together.
In 2020, Gloria Lorenzo-Luaces ’93 contacted Pat Buckley '61 (who was the local ad hoc organizer for events like football game watch parties in the area) to help organize a virtual event to honor the Class of 2024 return from Jacks Valley. In the process, Jackie Carsagua Garcia ’85 picked up the torch and asked to help organize a real Space Coast Falcons AOG Chapter. So Pat become the lead with Jackie as the co-lead.
With the help of the AOG, they began communicating with about 420 known grads in the area through email and setting up social media accounts. Surveys helped them understand what grads in the area were interested in doing together. In getting the word out and asking for volunteers, Jeff Posner ’69 joined the mix providing experience as they continued efforts to organize and establish this new chapter.
Together they focused on Founders Day 2021 as an inaugural organization event and decided on an outdoor venue with steady sea breezes at the Patrick Space Force Base beach facility.
On April 10, 2021, around 70 participants showed up for the inaugural ceremony, sharing stories, food, drink and companionship. It was judged by those in attendance to be a resounding success.
Now they are working on identifying, planning and implementing future events for the new chapter with a volunteer staff. There was a lot of interest expressed by the local grads in community service activities and helping one another. Establishing this chapter and bringing folks together sounds like a great first step with many more impacts on the community ahead.