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Cannon Exchange contributes to MWR

  • Published
  • By Staff writer
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Shoppers are typically not surprised to find the vast selection and savings at Army & Air Force Exchanges throughout the world. However, shoppers at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., may be surprised at just how many dividends the Exchange has issued allowing the 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron to enhance the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program and improve Air Commandos' quality of life and overall mission readiness.

"In 2012, Cannon received $408,283 from the Exchange," said Aileen Rivenburg, Cannon Exchange general manager. "This is almost a four percent increase from the previous year, and a good part of this increase is from getting the word out about our Exchange online ordering program."

When the Exchange online ordering program is taken into account, it results in the iceberg effect. The tip of the iceberg is what is seen upon walking into the Exchange, but there is a much larger selection available through the online ordering program. Consistent with the iceberg analogy is the amount of dollars the Exchange gives back to the Cannon community.

"There is a sequence in all of this," Rivenburg said. "The Exchange funds MWR, who then funds base-wide programs such as outdoor recreation, the Drop Zone, the bowling center and the Whispering Winds Golf Course."

The process described by Rivenburg has resulted in noticeable improvements throughout the base.

"Cannon's outdoor recreation was able to purchase two passenger vans, A-line campers, inflatables, a pontoon boat and Jon boats," said Lt. Col. Dina Quanico, 27th SOFSS commander. "With new equipment comes greater satisfaction, and with greater satisfaction comes enhanced morale."

Outdoor recreation was not the only department that saw a measureable increase. The Drop Zone was able to obtain a gas range and food preparation tables. The bowling center installed new seating pit areas, purchased bowling pins, a refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, television and new table tops with swivel seats. Additionally, 10 golf carts were purchased for the Whispering Winds Golf Course.

"My concern is that shoppers may see the Exchange as any other profit-making business," said Rivenburg. "While on the one hand they may be right, ultimately our key shareholders are our Airmen, their families and retirees. A total of 67 cents of every dollar is re-invested into Cannon -- with this type of return, we could be the envy of any actual for-profit organization."

When stationed at Cannon, it's just a matter of time before coming into contact with equipment or services that received funding from the Exchange.

"Despite the challenges we're facing in this current fiscal climate, it's refreshing to know that by simply shopping at the Exchange, we can ensure our ability to self-sustain many of the quality of life improvements we've seen," Quanico said. "This is what it comes down to -- continuously improving our quality of life."