By Betty Boyd, Military Affairs Committee

JD Daniels who is the Committee Chair for the Military Affairs (MAC), wanted to find a way to give back to active duty members. So in 2017, while visiting his brother in Oregon, he suggested that they do a night out. Thus the phrase “MAC Night Out” was born.

The MAC Night Out is a social event where businesses can sponsor various award categories. These categories include Airmen, Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, and Company Grade Officer.

These key sponsors are able to meet the awardees and their families. This created a unique opportunity for interaction between businesses and the awardees. These businesses that represent the Vegas Chamber give out the awards. From a chamber point of view, both small and large businesses were evaluated on who went above and beyond in supporting the veteran, spouse, and the family.

The first MAC Night Out was in a great social setting, given at the Aliante Casino, that included high-end appetizers and cocktails. The award winners were in casual clothing had their Commanders and families in attendance. This made everyone feel comfortable, part of the community, allowing for the interchange while working with the different sponsors.

One of the key aspects of the MAC is working alongside different organizations in Las Vegas. These organizations provide sponsor gifts, and each award winner got a gift. Some examples include rail rides to shows tickets.

It didn’t take long for people on base to realize what a great opportunity this was. JD worked with the 99th Public Affairs Group and let the military make the selection on the awardees. The criteria are quarterly and annual military award winners for the final selection. The military provided the names and bios and the committee took care of the rest.

All the military had to do was show up and it was a great success! The event had photos, social media, and it started out with 75 people and in 2019 grew to 190 attendees. In previous years, both Nellis and Creech awards were combined for the categories. In 2019, since the two Air Force bases were split up, each base had its own awardees. Nellis had the 99th Air Base Wing and Creech had the 432nd Wing in the individual categories for each base. A total of eight awards were given out in 2019.

The MAC Night Out is a way of saying “thank you” and enables the Military Affairs Committee to hold this premier event. From the Chamber Board of Directors attending to the Commanders, awardees and families were treated and saluted in a special way.

This year is no exception, and we will have to be very creative due to the COVID-19. We will be practicing social distancing and will make it as special for all attending. Based on the COVID-19 event, the MAC Night Out event will be rescheduled sometime this fall.

See you there!

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