Alfredo “Tito” Medina wanted to make sure all kinds of veterans in Western Washington will feel welcome at a resource fair he put together for this weekend, so he and a partner went out to find them.
Navy veteran Medina and Army veteran Scott Pondelick have been promoting the Tacoma Dome event by holding signs on highway overpasses, leaving fliers in popular hangouts and spreading the word on social media.
Their strategy worked last year when they drew more than 1,000 veterans to the Dome. They’re anticipating a greater turnout this year.
This is the third time the pair has helped put together a veteran resource fair in the South Sound. They’re aiming to help veterans in need while nurturing connections between different organizations.
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“We as a community should know each other,” said Medina, 38, of Auburn.
This year’s fair will feature more than 130 nonprofits, government agencies and veteran support organizations that provide programs for former military service members, from job-hunting assistance to medical care.
“It is a job fair to some,” Medina said. “It is dental and medical to others. To some it is getting homeless gear, and to others it is making connections in the community.”
The event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Medina and Pondelick received some help in organizing the event from the Puyallup Tribe and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They’re still looking for more donations that could support veterans services.