The Military Affairs Council of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce (MAC) provides a vital link between MacDill AFB and communities of the Greater Tampa Bay area. Since 1996, the MAC hosts several events throughout the year supporting and showing their appreciation for active duty service members stationed at base, including their popular events like the Military Affairs Reception and a Veterans Bass Challenge.
The Military Affairs Reception is held annually at the Tampa Garden Club as a way of thanking the military men and women serving at MacDill Air Force Base. Organizers are already deep in the details planning this year’s event, which will be held September 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa.
Event organizers expect this year to be highly attended with more than 150 community leaders, which typically includes the participation of the base commander and many others from the senior leadership team. Each year at the reception, the council presents a check to an area non-profit that best supported the base.
The Military Affairs Reception is a partnership sponsored and planned by three Eastern Hillsborough County Chambers of Commerce: The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce and the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
The other popular event hosted by the MAC is the Veterans Bass Challenge. For the last three years, the MAC provides area service-disabled veterans with a day of fishing and relaxation, combined with the challenge of competition at Harney Park. This year the event will be held on November 3, 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and JL Marine Systems, the fishing challenge will host up to 70 service wounded and disabled military veterans, including five wheelchair bound veterans. The event is staffed with 40 boat captains and more than 30 volunteers.
According to Rick Lewis, President of Brandon Chamber of Commerce, there is always a place or a role for the public to support the MAC.
“The MAC of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce is open to the public and looking for area citizens who want to support the quality of life of our military personnel in the Greater Tampa Bay area. “
The council is open to area citizens and offers other events such as book drives for MacDill Middle School and toiletries donations Baldomero Lopez Memorial Veterans Nursing Home.
The council meets the second Wednesday of every month at 9 a.m. at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. Contact Rick Lewis at 681-1221 for details to get involved with the MAC.