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Housing Authority fair aims to promote agencies

August 13, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

For the Baker boys - Tanner, 5, and his 3-year-old brother Tyler - Tuesday's community fair for public housing residents at Frederick Manor was a chance to get a hot dog, a cool drink and play some neat games.

But their mother, Tiffany Baker, had more serious reasons for attending the event. "I get valuable information at these fairs," Baker said as she went from table to table talking with agency representatives and getting pamphlets.

The Baker family lives in Frederick Manor, a public housing development managed by the Hagerstown Housing Authority, which sponsored Tuesday's fair. Another fair is to be held today on Douglass Court at Parkside Homes while a third - postponed from Monday - is to be held at Noland Village on Aug. 18.

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All of the fairs are from 1 to 3 p.m., according to Dianne Rudisill of the Housing Authority.

"We want to make as many agencies as possible available to as many residents as possible," Rudisill said.

There were representatives at the fair from the Health Department, Social Services, The Homestore, The John Marsh Cancer Center, Community Action Council, Boy and Girl Scouts, Department of Rehabilitative Services, Family Center, schools and the child support offices, all of Washington County.

In addition, Girls Inc., the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, Head Start and Apples, Inc. for Children had personnel on hand at the fair.

"As the mother of four boys, I am most interested in Head Start for my 3-year-old," Baker said. She also was touching base with representatives from the public schools since Tanner will be in kindergarten at Bester Elementary School this fall.

With an eye toward continuing education and employment, there were representatives from Hagerstown Business College, The Center for Business and Training, Associated Builders and Contractors, Western Maryland Consortium and the Maryland Job Service.

Harkins Builders, the contractors for Gateway Crossing, a housing development being built in Hagerstown, were on hand with a display.

"I'm helping out at the fair because I believe in getting involved in your community," said Regina Stoner, who lives at Frederick Manor.

Jennifer Colvin lives in the 600 block of Adams Avenue at Frederick Manor. Braving the heat Tuesday, Colvin said she finds the fairs to be very helpful.

"I attend all the meetings they have here, too," she said.

June Wright, who was at the fair representing The Center for Business and Training, said she was there because she wants people to know what her agency has to offer. "We have scholarships and training available as well as computer skills," Wright said.

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