Community organization fair


Emberlynn Pendergraft

Arkadelphia regional economic development alliance and area chamber of commerce booth ready for interns.

With welcome week in the books, Henderson’s Student Engagement Center successfully hosted the annual community fair. Last Tuesday, the Garrison Center’s Grand Ballroom housed dozens of booths, with everyone from churches to local businesses using the opportunity to introduce themselves to students new to the area.

During the fair, freshmen are given the chance to see what Arkadelphia has to offer. Local businesses set up tables around the ballroom and promote themselves to students as they walk through the fair. Many businesses even hand out freebies including pens, notebooks and shirts.

One of the first things students saw when they walked into the ballroom was a small dog, Penny, helping to promote the Humane Society of Clark County. (HSCC)

“Everybody has been great,” said one of the HSCC’s board members, Brandi Prince. “I brought Penny, she was a humane society dog that I fostered for a week before deciding I just couldn’t let her go.”

The community fair gave organizations like the humane society a chance to spread awareness and reach out for volunteers.

“We need all the volunteers we can get,” Prince says, “Whether you spend five minutes or an hour, these animals need the help.”

Another organization that looked to spread awareness through the community fair was The Call. The Call is a non-profit organization that serves children and youth in the foster care system through local churches. Historically, the fair has helped The Call gain both recognition and volunteers.

“I’ve gotten lots of students sign up to volunteer with The Call,” Jillian Battagli, The Call’s Clark County organizer said. “So, I would say the fair is very successful,”

The fair did not stop there, however. Games, interesting displays, and free food drew in students of all ages. Businesses like Domino’s handed out pizza and brownies, while others like Three Seven Catering offered cookies and lemonade to students as they passed by.

“I found the community both extremely helpful and lots of fun,” said freshman Macayla Newsom. “I had a long day of classes, so I wasn’t going to go at first, but one of the upperclassmen told me they were giving out free stuff so I went.”

Newsom went on to explain that the community fair was a great way to introduce this year’s freshmen to Arkadelphia, and it even gave her a sense of belonging.

Freshman are not the only ones who enjoyed the fair as students of all levels stopped by to enjoy everything it had to offer. The community fair has become a tradition over the years, even HSU alumni remember experiencing it during their time as a student.

“I was actually a student at Henderson, so I knew it was coming up,” said Saybra Scott, the director of communications at the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce. “One of our targets are students, so this kind of helps us get the word around.”

For more information about these organizations, visit their facebook pages at Humane Society of Clark County, The Call in Clark County, and Arkadelphia Alliance & Chamber.

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