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DECEMBER 2022

FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The holiday season is truly one of the most wonderful times of the year. For many, there are warm parties, cozy homes, fond traditions to celebrate, and gifts to be shared. It’s a joyous time of celebration. However, sometimes we get lost in the season and forget the reason we celebrate it to begin with – to share thanks.

In that spirit I want to thank all of you – Local Advisory Board members, community partners, sponsors, individual donors, volunteers (the heart and soul of our team), staff, and everyone else  who helps turn our mission into a reality for our local troops and their families. 

But the work doesn’t stop. It continues to be a busy holiday season for us! Last month we packaged and delivered more than 500 Thanksgiving meal kits and hosted more than 13 different programs for local military families! We also just wrapped up a trip up north where we hosted a World Cup Watch Party at NAS Fallon and a luncheon for more than 125 Air National Guard service members in Reno. This month we are gearing up for USO Holidays Cookie Week, the NV National Guard’s Lunch with Santa, our Deployed Family Holiday Dinner, and supporting several other winter and holidays events for local service members and their families.

I also want to give a special shout out to Alexa, the winner of our recent 12th Anniversary Raffle. Alexa is a local military spouse who is excited that her and her husband can have a staycation at the Venetian the next time they have family in town to watch their two-year-old child. We are also excited to participate in Harry Reid International Airport’s Festive Flavors Holiday Tree Decorating Contest (where our volunteers decorated an MRE-themed tree) and the Boyd Gaming Corporation’s Wreaths of Hope, where our volunteers designed a “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” military-themed wreath. Please click here to vote daily between now and December 16th to help our wreath win!

I hope you all have a great holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2023! As always, if you would like to learn more about any of our programming, operations, sponsorship and/or volunteer opportunities, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at USONevada@uso.org or 702-261-6590.


Sincerely,
 
Tim Mullin
Executive Director

 
USO NEVADA COMPETING IN WREATHS OF HOPE!
USO Nevada is once again participating in Boyd Gaming Corporation’s “Wreaths of Hope” competition. Our volunteers designed and decorated a beautiful military “flights-around-the-world” themed wreath that is on display at Sam’s Town (picture above), where our wreath is up against wreath’s from four other local charities.
 
However, the winners will be decided by public vote! Please help us win this year’s competition by voting for USO Nevada’s wreath once a day between now and the December 16th’ deadline! You can vote in person at Sam’s Town or online by clicking here.
 
First-place prize is $3,000, but there is also a citywide social media contest that will award an additional prize pool of $5,000 to southern Nevada’s top three performing charities with a $2,500 first-place prize, $1,500 second-place prize, and $1,000 third-place prize.
 
So, if you can, we also ask that you please help us spread the word about voting for our wreath by sharing on your social media pages and telling your friends and family to vote! Lets show our community how much we support the USO and our local military community! You can find more information about this competition on our USO Nevada social media pages or on our website here: https://nevada.uso.org/stories/42

 
Please contact us at USONevada@uso.org if you have any questions! 
HARRY REID INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CENTERS UPDATE
Each year, USO Nevada participates in the Holiday Tree Decorating Contest at LAS. In honor of the Festive Flavors theme this year, USO Nevada’s tree highlights the hardships of service members and the festive flavors (or lack thereof) of the MREs that they will be provided this holiday season.

We are thankful for the volunteers who spearheaded this effort and worked to decorate both our USO Nevada Centers in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 with yards and yards of garland, Christmas lights, and other holiday decorations. USO Centers across the country will continue to provide open doors for service members and their families during a busy travel season. Locally, our volunteers are standing by to ensure our Centers are stocked with all the travel essentials and snacks for our guests.
CREECH AIR FORCE BASE
USO Nevada Creech Center volunteers have swapped out the fall décor for wintery festive accessories. Some might say Santa already visited the Center because we’ve upgraded our gaming systems! Thanks to our sponsors and donors, we set up a new PlayStation and Xbox for the hundreds of guests who visit each week. If you haven’t been in recently, we are also rearranging furniture to create a dedicated computer workstation and enhance seating space. Look for more updates in the coming weeks.
OUTREACH PROGRAMS
To kick off the month of November, USO volunteers participated in Aviation Nation at Nellis Air Force Base. This year’s air show celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the United States’ Air Force and it was truly spectacular! Aerial performances included F-22 and F-35 Demo Teams and concluded with Nellis’ own Thunderbirds Homecoming. Our volunteers were on hand from 5:15 am to 4:00 pm supporting the Family Day portion of the weekend.  We can’t thank them enough for their dedication to our local military families.
 
Our annual Everything But The Turkey Holiday Food giveaway was better than ever as we were able to partner with the Nellis’ and Creech’s 1st Sergeant’s Council.  Thanks to our partnership, we were able to combine resources and give 543 families some basic Thanksgiving feast necessities. 
 
We spent the last week of November in Northern Nevada visiting Fallon Naval Air Station and the Reno Air National Guard.  The Navy was in a triumphant mood as we hosted a World Cup Watch Party and celebrated USA’s victory over Iran!  We also distributed USO Holiday Gift bags, and all enjoyed the free burritos.  Due to its remote location, Fallon NAS is often an underserved and overlooked base despite it being the Navy’s premier tactical air warfare training center and home of Top Gun. 
 
We were also able to provide some much-appreciated holiday joy to the Reno Air National Guard Base where we hosted a Pad Thai luncheon and distributed more USO Holiday Gift Bags.  We had great participation from the entire base and look forward to our next visit to Northern Nevada in Q1 of 2023.
USO Nevada supported the following programs in November
  • November 4, Aviation Nation, Nellis AFB               
  • November 10-13, Salute to the Troops, Las Vegas Valley
  • November 17, Nellis Military Justice Donut Drop, Nellis AFB
  • November 17, Coffee Connections, Nellis AFB
  • November 21-22, Mental Resiliency Lunch, Nellis AFB
  • November 21, 99th Comptroller Squadron Holiday Party, Nellis AFB
  • November 29, NAS Fallon Holiday Program, NAS Fallon
  • November 30, Reno Air Guard Holiday Program, Reno
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT
This Month we want to highlight our volunteers who helped design and build our wreath for Boyd Gaming's Wreathes of Hope competition. This year the volunteers were a group of military spouses from Nellis and Creech AFB’s.  Kim C., Jenny H., Meg D., Kendall M., and Megan M., were incredibly creative and blew us away with their “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” themed wreath.  We can’t thank them enough for their time and efforts in this year’s entry!  You can view the wreath (and vote DAILY) for our wreath at:https://fal.cn/3u3GP 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • December 7, Martin-Harris Deployed Family Dinner, Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa 
  • December 10, Lunch with Santa, North Las Vegas Readiness Center
  • December 14, Coral Academy Las Vegas Winter Festival, Nellis Air Force Base
  • December 15, Coffee Connection, Nellis Air Force Base
  • December 16, USMC Block Leave, Reid International Airport
  • December 17, National Guard Christmas Party, Reno, NV
  • December 22, Christmas Cookie Open House, Reid International Airport
USO NEVADA LOCAL ADVISORY BOARD
  • Tim Mullin - Executive Director, USO Nevada
  • Sharyn Brown - Owner, SB Specialties, LLC
  • Thomas McCarthy - Sr. Manager, Lockheed Martin
  • Carolyn Sparks - President, International Insurance Services, Ltd.
  • Joseph Mazon - VP and Treasurer, Nevada Trust Company
  • Col. Joshua "Josh" DeMotts - Commander 99th Air Base Wing, Nellis Air Force Base
  • Robert "Rob" Novotny - President, Skyracer Consulting
  • Col. Eric Schmidt - Commander 432nd Wing, Creech Air Force Base
  • Alan Diskin - Executive Director, Raiders Foundation
  • Allen Montalvo - General Manager, Findlay Honda Centennial
  • Samuel "Sam" Boyd Jr. - Corporate Security and Safety Manager, Boyd Gaming Corporation
  • Dale Sprague - President and Creative Director, Canyon Creative
If you would like to learn more about our USO Nevada Local Advisory Board and how to get involved, please contact our USO Nevada Executive Director, Tim Mullin, at tmullin@uso.org. 
USO VISITOR FEEDBACK
  • "The staff were very friendly! Thank you for respire for a weary traveler!"
  • “Friendly staff and very clean facility! Thank you, USO, for this service!”
  • "Carla and Leslie were so nice to us!!! They made us feel so at home. It was very clean too!"
  • "Absolutely outstanding and a pleasure to be here. The super kind people here. They are super helpful. I cannot say more then enough about the USO!"
  • "These are the nicest people to be around . It is so refreshing to be around them and supported by them. I feel like I’m around family."
  • “Everyone was so nice and welcoming.  Huge smiles and everyone made me feel like family.”
USO TRANSITIONS

The USO Pathfinder Transitions Program supports military spouses and service members at every stage of their military career. From taking your oath, to well into your journey to civilian life. Let’s face it; military families are constantly in transition. Moving, being between PCS’s, leaving friends and family, prepping to move, deployments, training, remote tours, TDY’s, new additions to the family, graduates heading to college, and everything in between! Having support is a beautiful thing. That’s what the USO is all about!

USO Transitions provides professional development services. Your USO Transition Specialist connects you to the resources you need, no matter where you call home. Core areas of support: employment, education, financial readiness, VA benefits, and mentoring. USO Transitions is a focused, tailored experience. Our objective is to provide you with a detailed action plan for the resources you need to obtain your personal and professional goals. Everything we do is free of charge!

Our program is a fantastic fit for spouses who focus on their families and those transitioning out of the military, preparing to pivot and join the civilian workforce. Schedule time on your calendar to dedicate to your future success and register at www.uso.org/transition.

USO LEGACY SOCIETY

The USO 1941 Legacy Society recognizes those friends of the USO who make a gift through a will, trust or other estate plans to continue the USO's long tradition of connecting service members back to family, home, and country. 

The generosity, dedication, and patriotism of our 1941 Legacy Society members allow the USO to continue its mission. We deliver critical programs and services that promote a healthy, resilient, confident, and prepared military as our dedicated service members continue to deploy far from their communities and family.

Among the benefits of membership include:

  • Exclusive invitations to VIP events
  • Exclusive invitations to USO educational and programmatic seminars
  • Recognition on the USO's planned giving website
  • Subscription to the USO eNewsletter
  • Special USO Legacy Society pin

You can join by completing the USO 1941 Legacy Society pledge form or mailing a copy of your estate planning paperwork to our address: USO Northwest, 17801 International Blvd., PMB 313, Seattle WA, 98158.

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