11/06/11 — Chamber fundraiser focuses on veterans

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Chamber fundraiser focuses on veterans

By Staff Reports
Published in News on November 6, 2011 1:50 AM

The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a "Lucky 11 Party" on Friday to help make local veterans and active service members more aware of the opportunities that can be found by choosing to make the county their permanent home.

Part of the proceeds from the event, which will be held at the Brick Village on Patetown Road, will be donated to the Airman and Family Readiness Center Transition Assistance Program, which offers career counseling and skills to prepare service members for the civilian workforce.

"The chamber created this 11-11-11 Veterans Day Reverse Raffle party so the public, base and community can mingle with each other. Someone will win a grand prize of $5,111, and 11 other prizes will be awarded every 11 minutes while we raise money to support the Chamber and our local veterans," said Rick Sumner, chairman of the chamber committee organizing the event.

The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee unites business and civic leaders with base leadership to form lasting partnerships through efforts such as the Honorary Commander's program.

"This will be the party of the year, celebrating the base-community partnership we've enjoyed for several years," said Chamber President Marian Mason. "Our community is taking Gov. (Beverly) Perdue's message to heart, helping our military veteran's transition into the workforce. Taking care of Seymour Johnson and our military community is one of the chamber's top priorities."

Mrs. Mason expressed appreciation to the presenting sponsor, BB&T, and local media, businesses and food vendors supporting the event.

"Our honorary commanders, the public and chamber members are all invited to the party. This event can be a tremendous success for all of us," she said.

Highlights will include a grand raffle prize of $5,111. Only 300 tickets will be sold and the winner does not have to be present to win. Eleven other prizes ranging in value from $100 to $1,111 will be awarded every 11 minutes to attendees. There will be live music, a deejay, food from Adam's Roadside BBQ, Zaxbys, Brown Bag Café and the Pizza Inn and beverages available, including a beer tasting of 11 "craft" micro brews.

There also will be games available in the Bud Light Sports Bar and Michelob Ultra Game Room. Local businesses also will have exhibits on display during the event, which will run from 7 to 11 p.m.

"Our military families are truly honored to have a supportive community who always finds ways to show their support. We do our part by preparing retirees for the civilian workforce through Air Force career programs to ensure local businesses can select and hire the best," said Col. Anne Winkler, 4th Mission Support Group commander.

The military Transition Assistance Program provides a wide array of services and benefits designed to equip service members with basic job-hunting skills, tools and provide the self-confidence necessary to secure successful employment in the community. It consists of two major components, pre-separation counseling and transition assistance. The A&FRC on base manages the TAP.

The program offers classes and workshops designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to successfully find employment.

It is a four-day workshop providing a job search overview and addressing job-hunting skills, work values, goals, résumé preparation, interviewing, salary negotiations and a variety of other topics involved in the transition from military to civilian life. The workshop is a Department of Labor-sponsored and facilitated program. Service members are encouraged to attend two years before their scheduled retirement date or one year before scheduled separation.

Classes teach résumé basics, how to maneuver through the federal employment process by networking and preparing forms before the interview. The small business workshop provides information about starting a small business. There is also one-on-one assistance to develop a plan of action for those considering a career change.

To purchase tickets and find more information about the Lucky 11 Reverse Drawing party, call the cchamber at 734-2241 or visit http://j.mp/Lucky11.

For detailed information about upcoming TAP classes call the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 722-1123 or visit, www.veterans benefitsgibill.com/2011/10/13/atap-air-force-transition-assistance-program/ or www.turbotap.org.