Fall Fest at Stearns showcases valuable services available in Polk County

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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On Friday, November 18, Fall Fest at Stearns took place at Stearns Gym. The event was co-hosted by Polk County Health and Human Services Agency, Alianza Hispana, and Pisgah Legal Services.  


The Fall Fest event was filled with various fun activities while highlighting community programs available for local kids and families. Activities included a cake walk, car seat demonstrations, and a bounce house. 

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The focus of the event was to inform the public and to give community partners a chance to meet Polk County’s families. The local partners had items to give away, along with plenty of information for folks to take home.


Polk County Transportation shared information on expanded services in the area, including routes to Greenville and Spartanburg. 


Dentistry 2000 was represented by Rosa Aguirre. The family dentistry that has served the area for 20 years was there to highlight good dental health. Blue Ridge Health was onsite as well, and gave away stress reducers and slap bracelets.


Tucker Shealy and Mike Armstrong of the Red Cross were there to recruit local volunteers. 


“We’re with disaster services, and most people think that means helping out in other areas after disasters,” Armstrong said.  “But primarily, the Red Cross finds themselves helping locally with house fires and other tragedies close to home, and we’d like to find volunteers in Polk County that can help their neighbors rather than bringing them from elsewhere.”


Meals on Wheels representative Gail Dyer also pointed out a critical need for local volunteers, pointing out that the number of meals needed locally has risen in recent years while the number of drivers has declined. 


Taylor Grace Davis was on site to represent Isothermal College. “We are here because we want the community to be aware of free and paid opportunities available to the public to further their education or just for fun,”  Davis explained.


Well-known charitable organizations such as Steps of HOPE and Outreach had tables at the event, as well. Partnership for Children handed out information on new programs for mothers, Family Preservation Services showcased how their programs can help with mental health and substance abuse issues, and Alianza Hispana explained their services to community members who speak English as a second language. 


Vaya Health and the Free Clinics were among the healthcare providers, and Love & Respect, a peer-operated recovery community center, also had a table offering legal advice for those in recovery.