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Schriever families enjoy Spring Fling

Children jump inside a bounce house during the Spring Fling event at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. The free event provided Schriever families a chance to enjoy the sun and bond. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Children jump inside a bounce house during the Spring Fling event at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. The free event provided Schriever families a chance to enjoy the sun and bond. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Col. DeAnna Burt (right), 50th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivegna (left), 50 SW command chief, welcome attendees to the annual Spring Fling event at the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Children were able to play games, win prizes, watch a magic show and visit with fairytale characters during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Col. DeAnna Burt (right), 50th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivegna (left), 50 SW command chief, welcome attendees to the annual Spring Fling event at the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Children were able to play games, win prizes, watch a magic show and visit with fairytale characters during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Schriever families pet goats, sheep, ponies and llamas during the Spring Fling event at the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. More than 1,500 people attended the annual event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Schriever families pet goats, sheep, ponies and llamas during the Spring Fling event at the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. More than 1,500 people attended the annual event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Sareta Partlow and her children, Somiya, Adrieene and Quincy, get their photo taken with Hairy the Bunny during the Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016.  During the annual event, children met with princesses, fairies and other costumed characters keeping with the “Once upon a time…” Theme. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Sareta Partlow and her children, Somiya, Adrieene and Quincy, get their photo taken with Hairy the Bunny during the Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. During the annual event, children met with princesses, fairies and other costumed characters keeping with the “Once upon a time…” Theme. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

A forest fairy greets Somiya Partlow as she arrives at the Spring Fling event at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Schriever’s children and their families enjoyed a petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting, games, prizes, magic show and visited with Hairy the Bunny and fairy tale characters during the free event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

A forest fairy greets Somiya Partlow as she arrives at the Spring Fling event at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Schriever’s children and their families enjoyed a petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting, games, prizes, magic show and visited with Hairy the Bunny and fairy tale characters during the free event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Second Lt. Walker Fickling, 50th Force Support Squadron, helps a child play a carnival game during the annual Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Children enjoyed games, face painting, prizes and food during the free event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Second Lt. Walker Fickling, 50th Force Support Squadron, helps a child play a carnival game during the annual Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Children enjoyed games, face painting, prizes and food during the free event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Col. Anthony Mastalir, 50th Space Wing vice commander, runs a carnival game during the annual Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Children enjoyed games, face painting, prizes and food during the free event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Col. Anthony Mastalir, 50th Space Wing vice commander, runs a carnival game during the annual Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Children enjoyed games, face painting, prizes and food during the free event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Karen Draper, dressed as Maleficent, welcomes children to the Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. This year’s event was based off the story of Maleficent and children were encouraged to attend dressed as their favorite fairytale character. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

Karen Draper, dressed as Maleficent, welcomes children to the Spring Fling event in the fitness center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Saturday, April 2, 2016. This year’s event was based off the story of Maleficent and children were encouraged to attend dressed as their favorite fairytale character. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- More than 1,500 people attended the annual Children's Spring Fling event at the fitness center on Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, April 2.

Schriever's children and their families enjoyed a petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting, games, prizes, magic show and visited with Hairy the Bunny and fairy tale characters during the free event.

"Spring Fling is a great way to get families out--there are a lot of free prizes and food and it's a gorgeous day," said Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander. "It allows for families--especially the larger families--to have a lot of fun on a budget."

Spring Fling took the 50th Mission Support Group and 50th Force Support Squadron roughly three months to plan, but coordinators agree the hard work they put in was worth it.

"It's a lot of work, but once the kids start arriving and you see their faces, it is worth it," said Karen Draper, 50 FSS. "I hope the kids experience something new, maybe try something new and have a good time."

According to members of FSS, events like Spring Fling are vital to creating a strong community and promoting a healthy family dynamic.

"It is important to have events like the Spring Fling to give families an opportunity to bond and enjoy time together and encourage our Airmen to take time for themselves and their families," said Darcie Ibidapo, 50 FSS advertising and commercial sponsorship coordinator.

One of the goals of the Spring Fling is to bring families together and increase morale.

"Events like Spring Fling provide an opportunity to show the Airmen, spouses and families how much they are appreciated, and also a way for them to connect and enjoy their time together," said Douglas Mann, 50 FSS marketing manager. "It's one of many ways we can serve and thank these outstanding men and women (who) are part of the Schriever community."

The event was originally scheduled for March 19, but had to be postponed due to bad weather, causing coordinators to worry about participation.

"We always have great participation for the Spring Fling, (but) this year we were reasonably concerned about participation due to postponing the event and the unpredictable weather we have seen in these past few weeks," said Ibidapo. "We were pleasantly surprised that neither of those issues caused a drop in participation."

Many agreed postponing the event was beneficial in the long-run.

"The original date ended up being a cold day with snow on the ground," said Ibidapo. "If we hadn't postponed the event we would not have had sno-cones nor would we have had the petting zoo. We were elated that the weather cooperated with us and the event was spectacular."

"This is probably one of the best events we've had as far as participation," added Burt.

Attendees agreed.

"We come to these events every time (they're scheduled)," said Lisa Martin, military spouse. "It's free and the kids like it a lot--the animals were their favorites."

The 50 FSS hosts four large-scale events each year--Spring Fling, the Summer Slam Base Picnic, the FSS Expo and Information Fair and the Children's Holiday Festival each requiring a number of volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering at any of these events can call the 50 FSS Marketing Department at 567-4740.

"I just want to thank Col. (Jason) Janaros and the MSG and FSS team, they did a great job setting up this event to have all the families come out and enjoy the day," said Burt.