Military members, families honored at ‘Salute Picnic’

Tyler and Amanda Barlow with Class Ropes Course, a local community sponsor, gives children a chance to test their climbing skills during the Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

Tyler and Amanda Barlow with Class Ropes Course, a local community sponsor, gives children a chance to test their climbing skills during the Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

The Salt Lake Bees baseball team mascot plays knock down with military families and children at the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

The Salt Lake Bees baseball team mascot plays knock down with military families and children at the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Tostado-paz and Airman 1st Class Andrew Lujan, both with 75th Security Forces Squadron, give visitors a chance to handle weapons during the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Tostado-paz and Airman 1st Class Andrew Lujan, both with 75th Security Forces Squadron, give visitors a chance to handle weapons during the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

No Limits provided music and entertainment for guests during the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

No Limits provided music and entertainment for guests during the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

Susan Osler with Changing Faces, a local community sponsor, gives Calvin Lyons a new and fun face during the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

Susan Osler with Changing Faces, a local community sponsor, gives Calvin Lyons a new and fun face during the annual Salute Picnic, July 14 at Centennial Park. The event pulled dozens of community sponsors together to provide a day of food and fun for military members and families, and showed appreciation to those who serve. (Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Active duty, Guard and Reserve military and family members enjoyed food, fun, and entertainment at the annual Salute Picnic in Centennial Park, July 14.

The free picnic was hosted by the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee (TOUMAC) as a way to thank service members and their families who sacrifice so much.

"This annual picnic is a highly anticipated event for our committee and sponsors as it provides the opportunity to roll out a fun event for our Airmen and their families,” said Barbara S. Riddle, chair for the Salute Picnic. “The event’s really about what’s in [our sponsors’] hearts and providing a service to those that provide a service to our country.”

This year’s picnic also featured activities for children and adults, and live entertainment. Warrior celebrities of American Ninja Warrior also attended.

This year was the 17th time TOUMAC has sponsored the Salute Picnic. The first event, held Dec. 7, 2001, attracted approximately 350 people. This year they welcomed thousands.

Besides TOUMAC and the picnic’s sponsors, many individuals from the base helped put together the first-class event.

“For any event of this magnitude, volunteers make it all happen,” said Capt. Edward Roybal, planning committee chair. “The picnic could not have happened without the volunteers that showed up, and put in over 1,000 man-hours on the days leading up to the event.”

TOUMAC members and base and community leaders met guests, served food and drinks, and cleaned up after the event.

TOUMAC is a joint committee between the Davis Chamber of Commerce and the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce. They sponsor other events for Hill's military and civilian employees, including military appreciation nights at the Ogden Raptors baseball games and at Weber State University football games. TOUMAC also sponsors a Newcomers Social to welcome newly assigned military into the community and support base recognition programs and quality of life programs for the military and their families.

“It was a great success today,” said Riddle. “At the end of the day people will walk away well fed, well hydrated, well energized, the kids will sleep well tonight, and we’ll start working on planning next year’s event.”