COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Veterans, their family members and friends and anyone else who is interested is invited to attend the upcoming Veterans’ Health and Wellness Fall Festival at the Robert Poydasheff VA Clinic, located at 6910 River Road in Columbus, on Friday, Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“At the festival itself, we are going to, of course, have tables set up that display the services that are offered within the VA healthcare system, not just at this clinic or not just within the Columbus area but across our entire healthcare system,” said LaKesha Kenner, volunteer program specialist for the Center for Development and Civic Engagement (CDCE), which is under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “Also, we’ve invited community members who may have businesses or organizations to come out and display that. And we’ve also invited veterans service officers to be on site to help veterans with disability claims, and we’ll also have Veterans Benefits Administration here to help with questions regarding claims, benefits, eligibility and things of that nature.”

There will be food trucks, music and games at the event. This event will also include a Toys for Tots drop off, a $30 Subway gift card giveaway for whomever donates the most non-perishable food items to a homeless program for veterans and a breast cancer awareness walk and celebration spearheaded by the VA women’s health program.

Costumes without full-face masks will be permitted.

Kenner said the main purpose of the festival is to introduce the Robert Poydasheff VA Clinic to the community. Though it opened in July, she said a lot of people still haven’t visited and don’t know what services it provides. Another goal of the festival is to make visitors aware of other organizations, businesses and services in the area.

Visitors are invited to meet staff and learn about Whole Health, the VA’s approach to healthcare. The VA states on its website that Whole Health centers around veterans rather than what’s wrong with them. Through the program, a veteran’s health team gets to know him or her as a person before developing a personal health plan based on his or her values, needs and goals.