By Kathy Eastwood, West Point Public AffairsJuly 20, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. (July 20, 2011) -- The annual West Point Community Fair sponsored by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Army Community Service at Eisenhower Hall was, by all accounts, a great success.
Roughly 715 people attended July 12 along with 95 vendors who staffed booths brimming with information and small gifts such as pens, notepads, tote bags and cookies.
The annual event offers information to new community members but also welcomes those already settled into life at West Point. Many participants enjoy meeting new people and gaining information about new programs or business opportunities.
Attendees received useful information about various club memberships, local restaurants, religious groups and children groups and services.
Parents were able to register their children into Boy or Girl Scouts or learn more about the Child Development Center or Child, Youth and School Services.
Local restaurants, along with Grant Hall and the West Point Club, offered participants tasty morsels of their specialties""a very popular attraction with long lines provoking conversation and handshakes.
Vender Erin Kidd, a new community member, from Houston, provided information about the home business “Willow House Design.”
“I wanted to participate (as a vendor) because I want to meet people,” Kidd said. “I just moved here so when it was time to move, I decided to give this (home business) a try.”
Sports clubs personnel such as Nancy Patrick of Volkssport staffed booths in hopes to generate some interest into the walking club.
“We are hoping to recruit new members,” Patrick said. “This is a fun and interesting walking club and it helps with learning a little of the history of the area you’re walking because you must pass 25 churches, 25 rivers and so on to earn patches. It’s a great way to get outdoors, meet people, have fun and get a little exercise.”
Of course, passing 25 churches and such doesn’t need to be done at the same time nor can you pass the same church 25 times, for example.
Pvt. 1st Class Jason (Ted) Jones, from Mobile, Ala., is a veterinary clinic food inspector. New to the Army, West Point is his first duty station and he took the opportunity to inquire about the Girl Scouts for his daughter.
“We have been here for about a year,” Jones said. “The community fair event is really resourceful. Since we are southerners, we’re not used to the winters here so we didn’t go out much last year.”
Maj. Heather Jackson and husband Lt. Col. John Jackson, both instructors in the Math Department, are returning to West Point and remembered attending their first community fair.
“We had to be in uniform the last time we were here and went to the community fair,” Jackson said. “I asked about it this time and some said yes, we had to be in uniform and others said no. And there was a speech from the garrison commander last time.”
The Jacksons and their daughter Bryn stopped to talk with another newcomer family, the Clarks, with their daughter Piper.
The Clarks came from Fort Belvoir, Va., and were very impressed with the fair.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this big,” Sarah Clark said.