Each year, we strive to organize events and community efforts, staying true to our mission of supporting our community socially, charitably, and philanthropically. During the 2018-19 OSCWI year, members worked together to bring back old traditions, revitalize longstanding ones, and respond to new member and community needs.
Hosting the All-Hands Children’s Halloween Party
The OSCWI has a tradition of hosting a Halloween Party for the children and families of NASWI, held annually at the M.C. McCormick Officers’ Club. Command OSCs and the OSCWI board put together games, treats, and fun for the whole family. The 2019 event was attended by over 400 children and their families.
Decorating the Officers’ Club for the Holidays
The OSCWI has long helped the NASWI base to decorate its Officers’ Club. This year, with funding from First Command, we purchased five new 7-foot pre-lit Christmas Trees to represent various NASWI commands.
Hosting a Holiday Bazaar
Through hosting a holiday bazaar, the OSCWI provided an opportunity for over 20 military spouse businesses to increase their visibility and acquire customers during the holiday season. Held at the CPO Club, this event was open to the public, and the businesses were allowed to promote and sell their products and services to our local community. The event also included a section of free gently used clothing and books for all ages. Remaining clothing and books were donated after the bazaar.
Expanding Our Reach
This spring, we have further opened to the community through membership with the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and lunch with the Retired Officers’ Spouses’ Club of Whidbey Island, a first step to further collaborations in the future.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day Dinner and Forum
We have obtained a grant from Island Thrift for an OSCWI-run Military Spouse Appreciation Day dinner and forum to honor to the military spouses who have played a major role on this island for over 70 years. The forum is made possible through support from Island Thrift; the Oak Harbor Yacht Club; catering by military-spouse-owned Zanini’s; and Joe Catanio, military father and Yacht Club manager.
Other Social Events
In addition to the above, the OSCWI has also hosted a variety of events where spouses can simply get together to network and enjoy each other’s company.
- Held a meet-and-greet at Bastion Brewery to kick off a new year
- Initiated OSCWI First Fridays, monthly gatherings during the Officers’ Club’s regular happy hour
- Gathered for a Family Fun Night at the Convergence Zone
- Met for the February Sip ‘n’ Paint Night at the CPO Club
- Will hold a social at Wicked Teuton Brewing Company (upcoming, April 10, 2019)
Collecting Food and Gifts for Community Families through Help House
The OSCWI partnered with the North Whidbey Help House to support two families in need during the holiday season. With contributions from OSCWI members and the community, we delivered not only two Thanksgiving dinners but enough food to stock the families’ pantries. We then delivered Christmas dinner and a trunk full of clothes and presents to one of the families and their two young girls for Christmas.
Supporting U.S. Coast Guard Families during the Government Shutdown
It came to the OSCWI’s attention that USCG families assigned to the Bangor Base were in need of support during the government shutdown this January. In less than five days, we reached out to the NASWI community and communities across the nation through social media and raised over $4,000 dollars in grocery gift cards, as well as much-needed baby supplies. We delivered a trunk full of diapers, formula, and baby food along with the 4K directly to the 4 units assigned to the Bangor Base.
2019 Time and Talent
Through the 2019 Time and Talent, our annual auction and fundraiser, the OSCWI along with various command OSCs raised approximately $16,000, some of which will go to the OSCs and the remainder of which will fund this year’s grants and scholarships.
The OSCWI board has been humbled and inspired by the continued support we have from our community at every turn this year. We are honored to be able to serve on the board of a non-profit organization that has such deep roots in our community and we look forward to see how this group can grow in the future.