FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Military Family Appreciation Month will kick off with a free brunch for military families Sunday at the Officers' Club, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is limited to the first 600 customers (active duty military and their immediate family members).

To make a reservation, call 782-8761. Last year, more than 400 people attended the brunch.

"This has been wonderfully executed," said Jose Gonzalez, who attended last year with his wife and son. "Very excellent ... the food exceeded my expectations; the entertainment exceeded my expectation. I am happy we decided to attend."

Special events are planned throughout November.

Another popular event is the Family Fun Festival, hosted by Child, Youth and School Services, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Solomon Center. The event features games, bounce house, slide and more free for all military families.

Each year, FMWR offers at least one contest to families. This year, families can win an original charcoal drawing by pastel artist Courtney Blanchard.

"It's so easy to enter this contest," said FMWR Superhero and spokesperson, Dot Com. "Post your favorite family photo to my Facebook page today through Nov. 15. Get your friends and family to vote by liking your photo. The photo with the most likes wins. The winner will be announced at the Family of the Year ceremony, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. in the Solomon Center. In addition, the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate for framing at the Frame Shop."

This month, military families can take advantage of these special offers:

 Century Lanes: Any time that lanes are available, all military ID cardholders can enjoy two-hour lane rental, balls, shoes, pizzas and sodas for four for $25.

 Palmetto Greens Miniature Golf: Free round of golf at Palmetto Greens for each member of the family, Saturdays and Sundays.

 Weston Lake: Free daily canoe or kayak rentals all month.

 Marion Street Station: Free bike rentals all month.

 Retail Zone: 25 percent off all purchases at the Retail Zone (excludes closeouts and sales).

 Officers' Club: Kids eat free all month (with purchase of adult meal).

 Frame Shop: 25 percent off framing for family portraits.

 Fort Jackson Golf Club: Saturdays and Sundays, families can hit the links and save money. Adults play for $10 and children for $5.

Special events include:

 Nov. 15 -- America Recycles Day and craft contest, Officers' Club, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All creative types are encouraged to enter the Upcycle/Recycle Craft Contest with a $500 Cash Prize. For rules and registration contact Lisa McKnight, 751-5971. Bring your recyclables! Metal, personal e-waste and papers for shredding!

 Nov. 15 -- Family outreach event -- story and craft at Balfour Beatty 6:30 to 8 p.m. Holiday story by guest reader Dot Com, cookies and cocoa, and stamp art on Kraft Paper wrapping paper, make-one, take-one holiday card and make-one, take-one tree ornament, sponsored by the Solomon Center. This is a drop-in event; please RSVP to Alana Youngblood at 738-8275.

 Nov. 16 -- Families of the Year ceremony -- 4 p.m., Solomon Center.

 Nov. 17 -- CYSS Family Fun Festival, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Solomon Center.

 Nov. 21 -- Family Bingo at Victory Bingo, 4 to 7 p.m. Free to play. Families win family movie DVDs, Family and MWR bucks, toys, games, and more. Enjoy Free Pizza and dessert bar.

 Nov. 30 -- Postwide yard sale in the Solomon Center.

This event is free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis, 2 to 7 p.m. (Crafters welcome.) To register or for more information call Kris Roth at 751-4056.

 Dec. 6 -- Family outreach event -- Better to give at Balfour Beatty, 3 to 5 p.m. -- Children will wrap presents for Epworth Children's Home with wrapping paper they make. Each child will also be able to make two craft gifts -- one to give and one to keep. The children will put gift bags together for Epworth Children's Home and then they will be given a gift bag of their own. Refreshments will be offered. This is a drop-in event; however, please RSVP to Alana Youngblood at 738-8275.

Keep up with all Military Family Appreciation Month events with the Leader, on Facebook and the FMWR website,