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MWR welcomes fall

JBLM's MWR program lines up family-friendly events

MWR’s annual Turkey Trot will open the holiday season Nov. 18 with festive games, a costume race, prizes and giveaways. Photo courtesy of MWR

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Even though fall doesn't officially start until Sept. 22, there's already a crispness in the air and a rustling in the leaves at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that hint at the upcoming season. JBLM's Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) program is ready for the change in season, and it promises to bring a brand-new lineup of fall events with it. 

One of the first MWR events this fall is the 6th Annual Salmon Run Sept. 9, happening at McChord Field's Heritage Hill. The run is held each fall to honor the actual migration of salmon from the Pacific Ocean to the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest. Participants can sign up for the children's 1K or adults 5K and 12K races. Race finishers will receive a free T-shirt and salmon bake after the race.

MWR is also holding its 2017 Fall Flea Market and Oktoberfest in a combined, day-long event Sept. 16. Both celebrations will be at the MWR Fest Tent on JBLM. The 2017 Fall Flea Market will begin at 11 a.m. and will include gently-used home and yard items for sale. Oktoberfest will kick off later in the day at 2 p.m. and will feature children's carnival rides, wagon rides, food and beer.

"We're excited to give the community an opportunity to come out and have some fun, to enjoy a legacy event that we've had on the (JBLM) installation for a few years," said Gloria Tomczewski, the MWR special events coordinator at JBLM. "It gives our community an opportunity to come out and have some fun in a safe, family friendly environment."

Another upcoming, big-ticket MWR event is the Wine & Jazz Festival, held at McChord Club Sept. 30.  Only a small entrance fee, festivalgoers can enjoy wine tastings, live music and sales of cheese, wine and specialty food baskets.

"Events like this have really exploded this year," said Tomczewski. "We started wine-pairing events last year, but this year, the wine events have been even more successful."  

Oct. 14, MRW will host its Zombie Apocalypse Run, which promises to be an action-packed, adrenaline-filled affair. The event's 1K Monster Dash and a 5K Run will both begin after sundown at the Lewis North Athletic Complex on JBLM North, and the run routes will weave through historical WWII barracks near the athletics complex. Registration costs will include discounts for MWR's notoriously spooky A Walk in the Dark Halloween event later that month.  Held at Shoreline Park, A Walk in the Dark will continue for two weekends, Oct. 19-21 and 26-28.

Starting November off strong, MWR will host Operation Care Fair at American Lake Conference Center Nov. 4. The fair focuses on wellness and will include vendors providing haircuts, nail services and massages.

"It's a fun way of (focusing on) wellness," said Tomczewski. "Sometimes we have Zumba on stage, too, and we'll have someone coming to give henna tattoos."

MWR's annual Turkey Trot will open the holiday season Nov. 18, followed by the Jingle Bell Jog & Kids' Reindeer Romp Dec. 9. The Turkey Trot's festive games, costume race, prizes and giveaways make it the perfect family friendly event. Although it's also a fun run, The Jingle Bell Jog & Kids' Reindeer Romp brings its own flair with its ugly sweater competition and multiple giveaways.

While it might seem like there's too many MWR events to keep track of this fall, readers can rest easy knowing MWR's Facebook page is the most up-to-date resource available to them. Utilizing the MWR app and Twitter feeds are also great ways to stay in the loop on MWR's events, regardless of the season.

JBLM MWR, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday; closed Saturday and Sunday, 2013B N. 3rd & Pendleton, Room 117, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, 253.967.5200,

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