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Vet Fest 2018

Saturday, November 3rd, 10:30AM-5:30PM

Main Library, 100 S Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33301​


The upcoming Broward County Library Vet Fest, a multi-faceted event connecting veterans and their families with FREE library and community resources. In partnership with Mission United, Vet Fest 2018 features classes, workshops, demos and more that introduce members of our veteran and military community to valuable, free services and resources that can make their transition to civilian life easier and more successful. Military veterans and their families can register for a FREE Thanksgiving turkey thanks to the partnership between Mission United and Broward County Library.

“We are proud to express our gratitude and be of service to military members, past and present, in our community,” says Library Director Kelvin Watson, a veteran himself. “Vet Fest is only one of many initiatives we have for our military community.” 

Keynote speaker Retired Army General Nolen Bivens will discuss building stronger communities with coordinated arts and healing programs that facilitate the transition to civilian life as well as how communities can support military veterans and their families during his presentation at 11:30AM.
In addition to Bivens' speech, discussions of veterans’ issues, résumé and job search assistance, legal and financial services, housing support and information about digital resources, Saturday's events will also include:

  • ​Speaker, E. Matthew "Whiz" Buckley, with book giveaway and book signings
  • Virtual reality demos and Paracord 550 craft
  • Record your story: Library of Congress history project
  • “Ask a Curator: Desert Storm Memorabilia” with display
  • The Welcome Home Group: Employment preparation
  • Family fun: Storytime, book giveaway and caricature artist
  • Veterans organizations' information tables and expo
  • Marine Corps birthday cake celebration
  • Combat Hippies spoken word performance
  • Computer flight simulator
  • Face painting
Special session of the award-winning “Coffee & Conversation with a Librarian” from 10:30-11:30AM, featuring Fort Lauderdale Commissioner and Naval Reserve Officer Ben Sorensen, who will share information on services from Mission United and other programs that are available to veterans experiencing homelessness.

Free yoga with Connected Warriors, the largest volunteer organization providing trauma-conscious yoga therapy for the military community.

There will also be sign-up opportunities for library cards and the Veteran’s Hotspot Program, which loans Wi-Fi hotspots to veterans and their families, affording them free Internet service. To receive these free benefits, participants need to bring military and civilian ID. 

For additional information, including sponsor and vendor opportunities, contact Michael Bryant, mdbryant@broward.org, 954-357-7435.

Vet Fest 2018 is generously funded by grants from the Broward Public Library Foundation, Broward County Cultural Division and the Florida Humanities Council.

Schedule of Activities

10:30-11:15AM – Virtual Reality, Flight Simulator and Paracord Creation, Bilingual Family Storytime, Music and Craft, Coffee & Conversation with a Librarian 

10:30-11:30AM – Victor Velasco Art Collection 

11:30AM-12:30PM – Color Guard: Civil Air Patrol
Keynote Speaker: Ret. Army General Nolen Bivens 

12:30-1:30PM – Broward College GI Bill 
Virtual Reality, Flight Simulator and Paracord Creation, Family Art Set-up 
Musical Performance by Martin Miller, Youth Video and Board Games
Flight Simulator and Teen Leadership: Civil Air Patrol, Yoga with Connected Warriors 
Veterans History Project 

1:30-2:30PM – Résumé and Job Search with The Welcome Home Group, Virtual Reality, Flight Simulator and Paracord Creation, Family Art Workshop with Young At Art Museum, Youth Video and Board Games
Flight Simulator and Teen Leadership: Civil Air Patrol, Speaker – Whiz Buckley
The Lost Airmen of Buchenwald - Lecture
Veterans History Project

2:30-3:30PM – Grant Applications- Office of Economic & Small Business Development, Virtual Reality, Flight Simulator and Paracord Creation, Family Art Workshop with Young At Art Museum, Youth Video and Board Games
Flight Simulator and Teen Leadership: Civil Air Patrol, Yoga with Connected Warriors 
The Lost Airmen of Buchenwald - Lecture, Veterans History Project

3:30-4:30PM – Youth Video and Board Games
Flight Simulator and Teen Leadership: Civil Air Patrol, Spoken Word with the Combat Hippies

4:30-5:30PM – Youth Video and Board Games, Cake/Discussion with Vet Fest 2018 Featured Guests 



 ​​​​Media: Press Release, 09/28/2018​
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