6861448.jpgPatrons and their pets peruse the flea market tents at the Pawesome Flea Market Sept, 18, 2021 at the Solomon Center at Fort Jackson, S.C. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea)

By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Fort Jackson’s Solomon Center was the center of several events Sept. 18, to bring awareness to breast cancer, sale of household and hand crafted items, and for families to spend time together during the collaborative Pawesome Flea Market.

“This is how you create community here on Fort Jackson,” said U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commanding General Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis. “This was positively ‘pawesome.’”

Tables were set up for community members to sell gently used household, clothing and sports items where Families, to include “fur-babies,” were invited to shop while enjoying hot or cold coffee from the 512 Trolley Cafe.

“I got to pet so many dogs,” Michaelis said as he wandered the market and greeted guests.

As shopping took place, upbeat music blasted from the Solomon Center’s front doors as the annual “Do it in Pink” aerobathon kicked off. Men and women wearing pink t-shirts and athletic wear participated in 30 minute sweat sessions of cardio, conditioning and core for a whole body workout.

“We’ve been doing this now for over 10 years. I love spreading the gift of health,” said Pamela Long, fitness and wellness specialist with the Department of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “Since COVID, one of the things we have embraced is to live stream and offer a hybrid approach so people don’t miss out on their workouts.”

This year’s aerobathon was held outdoors to help ensure COVID-19 health risks were mitigated while many more DFMWR health and wellness patrons tuned into the event as it was live streamed through Facebook.

Recreation Specialist and Solomon Center Manager Kristin Roth opened the Palmetto Greens Mini Golf course to Families, free of charge, to enjoy a game and cool off as the mid-morning heat began to build.

“I’m glad we have had great weather and the sun is shining,” Roth said. “We’ve had a great turn out for our first attempt at this event.”

The inaugural Blue Ribbon Bake Off closed the flea market where a panel of three tasted their way through the categories of pies, cakes and cookies and bars.

Dymen McCoy took first place in the cookie and cake categories while Becky Vanater took first for her coconut cream pie.

The remaining entries for the bake off were plated and offered to patrons, “Do it in Pink” supporters and venders alike. For safety concerns, four-legged attendees were offered dog treats instead of baked items.

“It’s a wonderful day,” Roth said. “I’m sure we will have another ‘pawesome’ event in the future.”