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<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>- In my article last week, I explained the difference between Appropriated Funds and Non-Appropriated Funds, and how the two funding sources apply to the operations of the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation at Fort Stewart.

Appropriated funds are approved by Congress for a specific purpose and cannot be used for any other purpose. Non-appropriated funds are dollars generated at the installation. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation at Fort Stewart carries out its mission, for the most part, with non-appropriated funds.

When we talk about the various types of funding and how Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and programs are affected, you might be asking yourself what all this means to you. And that's what I would like to talk with you about today.

If there is one thing I would like our Soldiers and their Families to know, it is this: your support of on-post Family and MWR programs and facilities is greatly appreciated and very much needed.

The dollars you spend with us help Family and MWR managers offer you top quality recreational and leisure activities at the lowest possible price. We know the budget of Soldiers and their Families can be tight, so we work hard to set prices that are reasonable but will allow us to maintain and improve our services.

Your dollars not only help us serve you, but they also make it possible for us to invest in renovations and modernization of our facilities, which will serve future Soldiers and their Families as well.

You helped us to complete a $1.34 million renovation and modernization of Hunter Lanes, a facility first built in the 1960s. We added state-of-the-art fixtures, furniture and equipment to this 16-lane facility. Two of the highlights of the renovation are a children's and unit party room and the new Ten Pin Grill.

With your support, we also were able to renovate and modernize Stewart Lanes at a cost of $1.5 million. It has a new exterior faAfASade and entrance, an expanded, modernized kitchen with a walk-up service window, additional party room space and 12 bowling lanes with a "Cosmic Glo-Bowling" theme. The interior has a retro look, with color scheme and theme representing the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Holbrook Pond Recreation Area is far more inviting for our Soldiers and their Families who love the outdoors. With your support and patronage, $750,000 was invested in constructing one large and three small screened pavilions with lights and ceiling fans, four playgrounds, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, environmentally friendly restrooms, walking paths, a fishing pier, a floating dock, and a paved parking area.

And at Hunter, we completed extensive renovation projects at Hallstrom Lake Recreation Area and Lotts Island RV Campground.

The new recreation area at Hallstrom has paved parking, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, a walking path, rest rooms and floating boat dock. The new Lotts Island RV Campground offers 16 camping spaces with all utilities, patio slabs with picnic tables and walking path.

We'll soon be launching a $750,000 renovation project at Lotts Island that will add rest rooms and a spacious pavilion, similar to those at Holbrook. This project will greatly improve the utilities infrastructure, laying the groundwork for even more improvements in the future.

We're excited to report that we're in the final design phase of a $750,000 paintball facility to be located in area between the RV Storage and the Pet Boarding facility at Holbrook. Our plans call for a registration/sign-up facility, two speedball courses for rapid-paced games pitting seven vs. seven or five vs. five. It will be fenced in, with netting, so spectators can watch the action.

We'll also have a third, smaller paintball course for children and youth to use for special events such as birthday parties, or just to have fun. Behind the speedball courses, we'll have three fields of one to three acres for woods paintball play scenarios.

Your support is the key. These Family and MWR investment projects could not have become reality without the support and patronage of our Soldiers and Families.

As I mentioned last week, these are times of budget constraints. However, if you will continue to give us your loyal patronage, we at Family and MWR pledge that we will continue to provide you with the quality of service you deserve and to always strive to make the most of our reinvestment dollars.

In closing, I'd just like to say thank you to our Soldiers and Families - we exist to serve you, and we are honored to do so.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16