NEWS | June 1, 2012

Club members help keep base heritage vibrant

By Alex Salinas Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph is home to the historic 81-year-old Parr Club, one the most successful clubs in the Air Force, having won multiple Air Force- and Air Education and Training Command-wide awards. The Parr Club, along with the Kendrick Club, offers many reasons that should entice Department of Defense cardholders to join them, Merilyn Gove, Randolph clubs general manager, said.

Everyone who joins a Randolph club before July 13 will receive three months of free dues; be enrolled in the free cash-back rewards program when members receive their card; win $5 to $100 instantly upon scratching a ticket with all winnings loaded on a Force Support Squadron gift card; and receive a 902nd FSS coupon book valued at $50, Gove said.

While these are all perks in addition to club membership incentives that include saving money on every meal, invitations to quarterly customer appreciation events, early sign-up opportunities for special events and $20 in monthly coupons, Gove believes being a club member digs a little bit deeper - something that isn't found on the membership applications.

"Being a club member is all about tradition," Gove said. "We are blessed with a clientele that patronizes the clubs."

Gove referred to multiple organizations on and off Randolph that use the clubs for catering events, as well as cohorts such as retirees who frequent the clubs and help keep them lively.

Missy Jones, Randolph clubs office manager, issued a stamp of approval inspired by the activities of retirees at the clubs.

"Being a club member is all retirees have ever known," Jones said, citing past years as a time when more people were club members in the military. "A lot of them come to the clubs every Friday with friends for dancing, drinks and food. They are a well-spoken group and are a great example why people should join to keep the club heritage ongoing."

Gove said once members join, they must keep coming back to the clubs to get the most "bang for their buck."

Membership is vital to the clubs' well-being because they are completely self-sustained by club dues and sales, Gove said.

Frequenting the clubs is important, but new membership is important to the future of club existence, considering an aging retiree population and a climate where many military members permanently change stations, Gove said.

Word-of-mouth exchanges are essential pieces of the membership equation.

"This is the social place; you may not see a lot of people your age or anyone you know at first, but once you get a friend or two to join and they do the same, the clubs really take off," Gove said.

The Randolph clubs' personnel are en route to keep them fashionable, that is, competitive with off-base establishments.

"We are trying everything we can to stay current with places outside of base," Gove said. "We are very flexible and value member feedback."

Part of the "fashion" statement includes a renovation to the Kendrick Club's Gil's Pub during July and August, which Gove said will leave the pub as the "benchmark of all sports bars" - showcasing a large JumboTron-style TV as well as other high-definition TVs for various sporting events.

Jones recommended base affiliates apply in person at the Parr Club, Bldg. 500, and Kendrick Club, Bldg. 1039, to receive their monthly coupons and use club benefits immediately. However, those interested can apply for club membership online at www.Chase.com/AFClubCard. For more information, call the Parr Club at 658-7445 and the Kendrick Club at 652-2986.