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Two members hit AF Clubs jackpot

Robert Gitthens (left) and Ralph Locurcio (right) are all smiles after they each received a $1,000 check at The Tides recently by club manager, Johnnie Rivera. Both men took part in an online survey during the 2008 AF Clubs Membership Drive, where 10 club members were randomly selected AF-wide to receive a cash award for their participation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chris Kraus)

Robert Gitthens (left) and Ralph Locurcio (right) are all smiles after they each received a $1,000 check at The Tides recently by club manager, Johnnie Rivera. Both men took part in an online survey during the 2008 AF Clubs Membership Drive, where 10 club members were randomly selected AF-wide to receive a cash award for their participation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chris Kraus)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Does club membership pay? Ask Ralph Locurcio and Robert Gitthens. They each won $1,000 by participating in an online survey in support of the 2008 AF Clubs Membership Drive. Both were recently presented their checks.

"Ten club members AF-wide won cash awards, and we are delighted that two of the winners were from Patrick AFB," said Johnnie Rivera, 45th Force Support Squadron's club manager.

Mr. Rivera said information gathered from the survey is very important because the feedback helps improve the quality and variety of club programs.

"The feedback we receive from members like Mr. Locurcio and Mr. Gitthens pay big dividends," Mr. Rivera said. "And I'd say it worked out pretty well for them too, as both were elated about winning."

"What a great way to ring in the New Year!" said Mr. Locurcio. "It's great to see that folks really do win these contests! I was a member of the original Officer's Club and was shocked and disappointed when it suddenly burned down...perhaps leaving us 'homeless.' However, The Tides has come roaring back! The concept of a community club makes a lot of sense. It brings everyone together, lowers expenses and allows the staff to concentrate on great programs and services in one club, rather than two. It's great to be a winner and it has really added 'bling' to my membership!"

Mr. Gitthens was a club member throughout his 36-year military career and beyond, but cancelled his membership in 2000. He's glad to be back.

"In October of 2008 I realized that I missed the club so I rejoined," Mr. Gitthens said. "I am very grateful that I was chosen for this award. Membership is by far a great deal. The club is a great place to meet new friends and have a great meal at a great price. I have been a member in a lot of places and The Tides is one of the best."

It's obvious that many others thought The Tides "is one of the best" clubs in the Air Force too. The numbers speak for themselves.

"We recruited 161 new members in last year's membership drive," said Mr. Rivera enthusiastically. "The reason is simple. In addition to traditional benefits like discounts on every meal, special functions, and free admission to club events - members get to choose their type of membership card (full use MasterCard or limited use Proprietary Card), can receive money saving points on and off-base when they use their full use card, and get discounts on purchases at many facilities on-base through our Services $ Advantage program. Yes, I'd definitely say it pays to be a club member."

For more information of the benefits of club membership, call Mr. Rivera at 494-4012.