WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP —
Fairgoers can get up close with a Stryker combat vehicle the Cambridge Springs-based National Guard unit used in Iraq, and those fit enough to hit the deck and do some push-ups can win free stuff.
It’s all happening at the National Guard booth near the poultry barn.
The Stryker combat vehicle open for inspection is fitted for reconnaissance and observation missions and was used by soldiers from the Cambridge Springs base when they were deployed in Iraq in 2009, according to Sgt. Ken Watson of Erie.
In addition to checking out the Stryker, visitors can put on combat gear to get a sense of the physical demands that face soldiers operating in the field. Fully geared up, Watson said the typical soldier carries 115 pounds.
If you’re fit and not put off by a bunch of people watching, the Guardsmen have a variety of items you can win by doing pushups. National Guard camouflage hats were going for 40 pushups Sunday, and Watson, a former Marine with numerous overseas deployments, was doing the pushups right along with those working for the prizes.
At this rate, he’s going to need a either a bigger jacket or an ambulance by the time fair week ends.
With this beautiful August weather, Christmas seems light years away, but it is on the minds of volunteers working at two fair venues.
ABATE of Crawford County and the Sertoma Club use their fair operations to help raise money to provide Christmas meals, clothes, presents and fun to area children who would otherwise go without.
The Sertoma Club’s always popular and reasonably priced sit-down indoor restaurant is at the end of the midway across from Home Show Building 1. In addition to friendly service and good food, you’ll find a variety of raffles underway there.
The Sertoma Club’s big event each year is the Jimmy Moore Party, which provided food, clothing, a present and entertainment to 500 children last year. The fair restaurant helps generate the funding necessary to pay for the party.
ABATE (Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education) is selling raffle tickets at its booth under the grandstand. Prizes include guns, cash and a TV. Proceeds go to the organization’s Christmas party, which includes a meal for families and gifts for kids who might otherwise go without. About 400 children received gifts at last year’s event.
Both organizations welcome new members. The Sertoma Club meets the first and third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at its clubhouse on Baldwin Street Extension. More information can be had by calling club President Jack Thompson at 333-1234.
ABATE meets the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Ran’s on Liberty Street. President JoAnne Dederick at 282-4592 or firstname.lastname@example.org can answer questions.