As the Thunderbirds rocketed overhead, the Atlas Cares volunteers cheered with the children weaving between the camo-clad legs standing in line for a classic picnic spread.  Atlas Cares, an organization founded by Atlas Oil and Simon Group Holdings employees several years ago, was at Selfridge Air National Guard Base for their Family Day Event celebrating 100 years of aviation history.  While the remainder of the Selfridge 100 Year Celebration would be open to the public, Friday was the day for military members and their families to enjoy the open house’s activities and spectacular airshow.

For the past decade, Atlas Cares has hosted a base party benefitting over 3,000 military members and their families at Selfridge for the holidays. This year, the base party was revamped as Atlas Cares could not pass up the opportunity to help Selfridge celebrate 100 years of aviation history and decided to host a family picnic during the Open House and Airshow.

With the help of local vendors, Atlas Cares fed thousands of servicemen and women, along with their families, provided entertainment like bounce houses and rock walls for the kids, and got to know the brave men and women protecting American freedoms. 

 Over 20 volunteers from Atlas Oil and Simon Group Holdings took the day away from the office to help provide a day of fun and socializing for some of America’s most deserving families.  Nada Simon, founder of the Sam and Nada Simon Foundation and mastermind of the family day picnic, kicked the picnic off with a huge thank you to military members and their families, and a blessing.

 “We are so lucky to live in this great country,” said Nada during her opening remarks.  “Thank you so much for your sacrifice to this great nation.”

 Many of the volunteers say their favorite part of the base party is always the smiles on the children of military members enjoying the party.  It was no different this year as the kids ran back and forth between the Kid Zone and adjacent Atlas tent.

 Through Atlas Cares, Simon Group Holdings and Atlas Oil are looking forward to continuing to support the military through events like the family day picnic for many years to come.