FORT BRAGG, N.C. - More than 500 military spouses enjoyed free manicures, facials and a day of pampering at Picerne Military Housing's Spouse Appreciation Day events held on Sept. 12, at the lodge at Linden Oaks and Sept. 19, at the Pope Neighborhood Center.

The annual event for on-post residents helps foster a sense of community by providing military spouses with an opportunity to have fun and make new friends. The event is one of the most anticipated events each year and several spouses lined up outside the neighborhood centers more than an hour before the doors opened at 11 a.m.

"This is a great pick-me-up," said Cynthia Rivera-Kelley, a Linden Oaks neighborhood resident. "A lot of times there is nothing done for the spouses, so this really means a lot to me." Rivera-Kelley is the spouse of Sgt. 1st Class David Kelley of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Cindy Hart, assistant neighborhood manager for Picerne, helped organize this year's events with a committee of Picerne employees. "This is my favorite event because our military spouses are so deserving of this recognition and day of thanks for their many sacrifices," Hart said.

Once inside the doors, event attendees enjoyed an international theme entitled "A World of Thanks." Venue hallways and rooms featured elaborate decorations symbolizing cultures where the United States has military bases, like Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Picerne staff, wearing native costumes, also served complimentary refreshments such as schnitzel, sushi, rigatoni and bruschetta.

Local vendors displayed an array of gifts, candles, jewelry and home d├ęcor. Several residents walked away with early holiday purchases from home-based vendors such as Scentsy, Merefille Designs and Divine Designs by Nancy. Paul Mitchell Academy offered free manicures and free facials were provided by Mary Kay cosmetics.

In addition to other free activities like a zumba class and sushi demonstrations, participants received gift bags and were entered to win donated door prizes.

While the event catered to adults, Picerne staff members offered valet stroller parking, coloring pages and snacks for children so that parents could move about more freely.

Linden Oaks resident Dorathea Tapaoan attended the event with her daughter Lilia and said the event was one of the best she has attended. "It's a nice way to let spouses know that we're taking care of you as well," Tapaoan said.

For more information about Picerne Military Housing or upcoming events for on-post residents, visit the website www.braggpicerne.com.

Page last updated Fri September 28th, 2012 at 00:00