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Soldiers, families learn about outside community opportunities
Jennifer Lefkowski Stefanie Thomas with Linda Phillips and Bonnie Proctor
Army spouses Jennifer Lefkowski and Stefanie Thompson receive snacks and information about Richmond Hill from Linda Phillips and Bonnie Proctor on behalf of the city of Richmond Hill and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. - photo by Randy C.Murray

Fort Stewart soldiers and family members learned about family adventures, hotel accommodations, dining, entertainment, education and recreation opportunities from Savannah and Hilton Head to Orlando, Fla., at Tuesday’s Fall Community Showcase and Travel Show.
The biannual event at Club Stewart brings together vendors from throughout Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, said Pat Young, community-relations officer for the Fort Stewart Public Affairs Office.
He said representatives from hotels, historic sites, schools, churches and municipalities tell soldiers and spouses what they have to offer, and many provide special military discount rates.
Although this year’s estimated 400 attendees represent fewer participants than normal, Young said it was a good turnout and a great opportunity for soldiers and family members who are new to the area.
This year’s “best in the show” prize went to the team of the Coastal Heritage Society and Old Fort Jackson, whose representatives were clad in period military uniforms from the American Revolution, War of 1812 and Civil War.
“At one point, the Coastal Heritage people were able to outfit community members with period military garb and weapons, then they ‘attacked’ the fort. It was fun to watch,” Young said of the re-enactment. “Fort Stewart’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation won the Community Cup this year.”
In addition to Old Fort Jackson, which is near downtown Savannah, other state and national historic sites represented were Fort Morris in Midway, Fort McAllister in Richmond Hill and Fort Pulaski on Tybee Island.
Clad in his Confederate uniform, Fort McAllister park ranger and period interpreter Talley Kirkland chatted with Fort Pulaski park ranger and period interpreter Mike Weinstein, who wore a Union uniform.
The two men only grinned when asked for a photo of them shaking hands.
“I ain’t shaking hands with him,” Kirkland said with a laugh. He did agree, however, to pose for a picture with his federal counterpart.
Army spouses Jennifer Lefkowski and Stefanie Thompson, along with Lefkowski’s 2-year-old daughter, Avery, said they enjoyed going from table to table to learn about fun things for their families to do in the surrounding communities.
Linda Phillips, who said she was representing the city of Richmond Hill, and Bonnie Proctor, who was with the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Center, offered snacks, pencils, cups and literature about their community, including its relationship with Henry Ford.

Read more in the Sept. 11 edition of the News.

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