KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Crowds of service members, civilians and their families flocked to the Kazabra Club, May 3, to enjoy the Military Spouse Appreciation Community Expo put on by Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The expo included representatives from a wide variety of community organizations and provided visitors opportunities to learn more about what Family and MWR has to offer in the local area.

Along with an education, guests also had the chance to win a $1,000 gift card from Army Outdoor Recreation to be used for European travel, along with a Disneyland Express Trip, a Paris Express Trip and a Bavarian Fairytale Castles Trip. Other prizes included gift bags, tickets to the Father and Daughter Ball and Java Café gift cards.

USO Kaiserslautern was on the scene to offer cake, coffee and other goodies while Army Sports and Fitness gave 20 lucky military spouses from the crowd complimentary 10-minute massages. By way of entertainment, visitors had the chance to receive free face painting for kids and play bingo.

The event was sponsored by and featured representatives from local car dealerships, dentist offices, financial services, health and wellness programs and others.

Julie Hill, Army spouse and recent arrival to the Kaiserslautern Military Community, explained that she visited the expo with a friend for a number of reasons.

"I came to the expo to learn more about the events happening around the base and to connect with other spouses who may be interested in learning about and attending the same sorts of things. I also heard that there were going to be some big giveaways, so that was definitely a draw as well."

While Hill has been in the area since February, she is still getting her bearings when it comes to life overseas. She said that events like this are the perfect way to get to know a new home.

Tim Siebeneck, Family and MWR marketing manager and key organizer of the community expo, explained that Family and MWR began hosting community expos as a way to inform service members and their families in the area of what Family and MWR is and what it does for their resiliency, readiness and overall wellbeing.

"There are so many services [MWR] provides for the Army and Air Force stationed in the KMC -- this expo is just one of the many ways we can connect our services with their needs," he said. "MWR could not host this event or give away all the prizes without the help of our commercial sponsors and we are grateful for their participation in this event."

There was a lot to see and do at the Military Spouse Appreciation Community Expo, but don't fret if you weren't able to make it. Siebeneck said the next expo will take place June 13 at Pulaski Park with a 'Celebrating the Army Birthday' theme and all community members are welcome to attend. Visit kaiserslautern.armymwr.com for details on the expo and other upcoming opportunities.