FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Army Community Service hosted a Fort Bragg community information fair, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fort Bragg Club.

The fair included more than 70 organizations from the Fort Bragg and local community area. The event provided an opportunity for Soldiers, Family members and Department of Defense employees to find out about an array of information, resources and programs available to them on Fort Bragg and in the Fayetteville area.

Cathy Mansfield, ACS installation service volunteer coordinator, organized the event with other ACS members. Melissa Helmick, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg's commanding general's wife, also helped out with the event.

"We wanted to let our Soldiers and Families know what resources are out there to support them," said Mansfield.

As Mansfield greeted patrons coming in, she handed out tote bags along with a survey, asking patrons to fill it out before leaving.

"The feedback has been really positive," said Mansfield as she collected the surveys.
The buzz of people chatting and laughing set the mood for the event. Venders greeted patrons cheerfully, answering questions and handing out goodies.

Heather Richardson, a homemaker for eight years, has been home-schooling her children and wanted to get information on local programs.

"I found out about some programs that were here that I didn't know about," said Richardson.
Debbie Holfelder, dispatcher supervisor for Fort Bragg's 911 call center, who was informing patrons about the correct number to call for non-emergencies and the 911 call boxes that are now available around post at various locations, said the fair has been good for letting people know about them.

"Not a lot of people know about us," said Holfelder. "We've been here since 2007 and we're still growing."

Helmick walked around the room and stopped at different tables to chat and thank them for participating in the fair.

"They have loved it, from the venders to the people coming here," said Helmick.
The fair was not only an opportunity for the agencies to reach out to Fort Bragg but to also network amongst themselves.

Tracy Curran, a community representative with Operation Homefront and also one of the many organizations in attendance, said she was impressed with the event.

"This has been amazing and a great outreach," said Curran. "We've had a great turn out and I'm meeting all the right people."

Michelle Borjas, a Family readiness assistant representative for the Warrior Transition Battalion, said the event was fantastic.

"It's an awesome representation from the community," said Borjas. "And a great place to make contacts and network."

This was our first information fair and because of the great turn out, our next one will probably be in a much larger facility, said Mansfield.

Page last updated Fri October 8th, 2010 at 14:35