Soldiers, their family members and Department of Defense civilians recently learned what the community has to offer for fun activities at the 2012 Community Showcase and Travel Show on Wednesday at Hunter Club and Thursday at Club Stewart.
Dina McKain, Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office, said more than 600 people attended the event at Hunter. Jennifer Scales, Stewart PAO, said about 500 attended the Stewart event.
Visitors received cookies, cake, candy and hush puppies and filled reusable canvas bags with flyers, discount coupons, business cards, brochures and trinkets like measuring spoons, brushes, rulers, pencils and tiny flashlights.
Local communities that displayed what they have to offer included Hinesville, Richmond Hill, Pembroke, Pooler, Savannah, Brunswick and the Golden Isles and Jekyll Island.
Representatives from resorts and hotel chains from regional communities like Jacksonville, Valdosta, Myrtle Beach and Chattanooga invited soldiers and military families to visit their cities, with many offering special rates for military.
Evanne Floyd with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and Vicki Davis, executive director of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, represented Hinesville. Other Hinesville entities showcased included the Hinesville Area Arts Council, YMCA and Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Liberty Center.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders represented their team and city. Some soldiers lingered at their table a little longer than at other tables.
Stewart’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation touted its wares with a list of its indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, fitness centers and children’s activities, while food through Club Stewart was advertised on another table.
Grace Fields and Leslie Ryckman sported construction hard hats for their Club Stewart display, which included warning signs that read, “Caution: Great Food Under Construction.”
“We still serve lunch at Thunder Run,” Ryckman said, referring to the lounge at the rear of the club. “We also do the pasta nights on Wednesdays and special brunches on holiday Sundays.”
She said Club Stewart was sponsoring an Oktoberfest from 4-11 p.m. Oct. 13 in the parking lot. The event will include the finale for Fort Stewart’s Rising Star competition, and the German polka band, the Rhinelanders, she said.
Ryckman said the event will feature German cuisine and beer provided by the club and outside vendors. The pay-as-you-go event also will include inflatables, a mechanical bull and other kids’ rides, she said.
Stu Card, co-director of operations for Savannah Taste Experience, stayed busy talking to visitors about his organization’s food tour business.
“We take guests to six different restaurants and food stores (in Savannah),” he said. “We eat different food and talk about the history of Savannah.”
Casey Bozeman, 4-H & Youth Development Assistant, and Marcus Eason, UGA’s Cooperative Extensive, 4-H/Youth, talked to families and youngsters about opportunities available through 4-H, including “Georgia Operation: Military Kids,” which is designed especially for children of deployed soldiers.
Scales said Fort Stewart typically conducts the community showcase and travel show twice a year with a show in the spring and another show in the fall.