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Hagerstown Housing Authority fair familiarizes residents with services

August 14, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

If the nearly 800 hot dogs given away during Wednesday's community fair at Elgin Station is any barometer for success, then the Hagerstown Housing Authority is pleased with this year's effort.

In the past, four such events were held throughout Hagerstown. But this year, a combined approach was adopted, said Dianne Rudisill, HHA program/family services director.

"We shuttled residents of our communities in every hour or so," Rudisill said of Noland Village, Frederick Manor and Sumans Avenue housing areas. "It has gone very well."

The purpose of the fair is to familiarize residents with invited vendors who can provide services to them throughout the year.

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Among those represented were Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc., Washington County Community Mediation Center, Apples Inc., CASA, Community Action Council, Department of Social Services, Food Resources Inc., Head Start, One-Stop Job Center, REACH and the Washington County Health Department.

There was even a dunking booth, which from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. served as a fundraiser for REACH. Ted Shankle, HHA executive director, was the target during that period.

Lots of youngsters and their parents were drawn to the Boys & Girls Club table, Regina Stoner said.

"We are here to reach out to kids," Stoner said. A staff member at the club, Stoner said it was a great opportunity to show the community what the club on Pennsylvania Avenue is all about.

Bike safety was part of the club's demonstration at the fair Wednesday. "There was a lot of interest in that," Stoner said.

Nora Fitzgerald and her grand-nephew, Will Davis, 4, were not planning on attending the fair but were attracted by the sounds of the DJ and the smell of the hot dogs.

"I didn't know it was here, but everything was free and we had a great time," Fitzgerald said.

Will said catching "fish" and getting a Blue's Clues balloon were the highlights for him.

"We believe about 700 people had been through as of 2 p.m.," Rudisill said of the event, which was from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with vendors both inside and outside at the Elgin Station park.

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