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Media Advisory

For immediate use 

Nov. 3, 2005 -- No. 533

Event to recognize National Guard troops, families
in western N.C.; about 350 families have been invited

Saturday (Nov. 5), 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Carrier Park, located on Amboy Road
Asheville

Media representatives are invited to cover Old-Fashioned Family Fun Day, which will recognize National Guard and Reserve troops from throughout western North Carolina. Six different units have been invited, approximately 350 families.

The Citizen-Soldier Support Program (CSSP) is working with the Asheville Parks and Recreation Department and the National Guard’s local family assistance coordinator to plan the event.

Deborah Reed, CSSP western community program liaison, has engaged these two organizations as a part of CSSP’s mission to call up community organizations to strengthen and support citizen-soldiers.

At an 11 a.m. ceremony, citizen-soldiers and their families will be honored for the sacrifices they make daily. U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor and State Rep. Ray Rapp will offer remarks during the ceremony, as will Asheville Parks and Recreation Department director Irby Brinson.

The theme of the event is "old-fashioned picnic," and the activities include sack races, face painting, and arts and crafts. The Texas Roadhouse on Hendersonville Road will cater the event, with neighboring McDonald’s restaurants providing Happy Meals for the children.

CSSP is a community-based initiative aimed at mobilizing community organizations and services to support and strengthen local citizen-soldiers, their families and loved ones. Families of deployed Guard and Reserve members face challenges related to their geographic dispersement and also may lack the benefit of informal support networks that exist around military bases and posts.

The federally funded CSSP is being led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partnership with N.C. State University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Duke University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bryn Mawr College and UNC-TV.

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Citizen-Soldier Support Program background: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jun05/citizensoldier0605060905.htm

Citizen-Soldier Support Program contact: Deborah Reed, (828) 776-2527