Chamber hopes to start new tradition

Kevin Wilson

On Saturday, the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce is looking to thank the people of Cannon Air Force Base with food, entertainment and prizes.
The chamber hopes it can add something else: tradition.
“We hope to be able to do it in the future,” said Pat Willis, the general manager at the chamber. “We hope to be able to do something every year.”
The Cannon Appreciation Picnic is scheduled for 5-8:30 p.m. Saturday at 801 Housing, which is located at University Drive and Cannon Meadows — the base’s Portales housing section.
Willis said the picnic will include food, games, door prizes and performances from the Eastern New Mexico University jazz band.
“It’s just going to be a time when Portales says ‘Thank you’ to the military,” Willis said.
Officials at the base have been adamant that the chamber is doing the majority of the planning, but Cannon resources were needed to send invitations to all base members, spouses and children that live in Portales.
“The Portales chamber has done the vast majority of it,” said Master Sgt. Julie Angle. “I have assisted as far as gathering the names … and sending out the invites.”
Angle could not give specific information on the number of invitations that were sent out, but said the list was in the hundreds.
While the picnic is a new event, this is certainly not the first event from a community to recognize Cannon’s contributions.
“All of these things that have gone on with the homecoming and the picnic, this has all been driven by the community,” Angle said. “This is all done through the hearts of the Portales and Clovis chambers, strictly Portales for Saturday.”