story by Brittany Shepard | photos by Drew Chapman
The Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club (FRCSC) exists to unite spouses of active and retired military servicemen and women. Their primary goal is serving the communities around Fort Rucker through volunteer efforts. All the while, the organization hopes to build a sense of comradery among the families stationed at Fort Rucker through social and cultural outings and events.
Each year, the organization works tirelessly to raise funds to distribute grants to worthwhile charitable organizations as well as scholarships for military spouses and high school students to further their education.
“The Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club is a private, self-sustaining nonprofit organization that operates and exits on a military installation only with the consent of the Installation Commander,” said current president Martha Boyle.
Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club has had a profound impact on the families at Fort Rucker and the surrounding communities. One of the projects that the club is most proud of is their Fairy Godmother Project in which they provide prom and homecoming dresses for young ladies in the community who might not be able to afford one on their own.
Martha joined the club in 1994 when her husband went through flight school.
“We have been stationed in other places, but when we would be sent back to Fort Rucker, I would join again,” said Martha. “I truly enjoy myself and have fun meeting new spouses and getting to meet people from all over the world.”
What is the vision and mission of FRCSC?
The Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club has two missions. Our primary mission is to develop a spirit of community responsibility. Our volunteers gladly give of their time and talents to serve both the military and civilian members of the Fort Rucker and Wiregrass communities. Volunteers log hundreds of hours to raise funds for community grants to worthwhile causes and for scholarships for high school and continuing education students.
Our secondary mission is to provide opportunities for social, cultural, and creative pursuits. Our events focus on offering you the opportunity to grow as a military spouse and as member of a volunteer community. We offer monthly luncheons where you can socialize with your fellow spouses and participate in “how-to” events and self-help oriented luncheons.
What activities do members participate in to build community together?
We put on an annual Hollyday Bazaar every year (usually November), where local craft vendors come and sell their crafts along with food vendors. To make all this happen, almost all members join in to help from making baked goods, decoration, guiding traffic to the people parking their cars, selling raffle tickets and selling tickets at the entrance. This year we even had a soldier being the DJ for the day. He was incredible!
This is our biggest group effort to put on. It takes so much work that planning starts in May!
We also have Sub Clubs including Book Club, Crafting Club, Cooking Club, etc. Everyone participating in these sub clubs must be a member of the FRCSC.
How does one become a member and what are the requirements?
There are two categories of membership in the FRCSC:
- Active Members – Spouses of active duty or retired commissioned officer, warrant officer or enlisted soldier of the Armed Forces of the United States assigned to Fort Rucker or residing in the local area; spouses of DoD/DA civilian employees employed at Fort Rucker.
- Associate Members – Un-remarried widows/widowers of military personnel and divorcees of military personnel (who have maintained military privileges)who reside in the Fort Rucker/Wiregrass area; spouses of international soldiers on active duty assigned to Fort Rucker; spouses of National Guard or Reserve military personnel not on active duty but residing in the Fort Rucker area; spouses of DoD/ DA Contractors of Fort Rucker.
In its history, what impact as FRCSC had on the community?
One of our most recent projects is the Fairy Godmother Project. We give out formal dresses for free to girls in the local communities that cannot afford to buy a dress for Prom or Homecoming. We not only give them a dress but an accessory as well like shoes, jewelry, etc.
All of this is donated by local merchants or ladies themselves that do not want their dresses anymore. It has grown so big! We are very proud of this.
In your opinion, what is the most rewarding thing about being involved with FRCSC?
The most rewarding thing is meeting new spouses and getting involved in helping the community. We are such a transitional base, you are constantly meeting new spouses. You sometimes make friends for life – I know I have.
What is your organization’s greatest need and how can our readers help?
Your readers can help by supporting our events like our Hollday Bazaar that we put on every year in November. This is our major fundraiser for all our scholarships and grants we give out to our community.
We also are at local events selling from our club store, Remnants of Rucker.
Where can our readers go for more information about the Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club?
Your readers can visit our website at www.FortRuckerCSC.com or find us on Facebook!