Chamber, local groups put out welcome mat at Hood Howdy
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and some of its members put out the welcome mat for incoming soldiers and their families at the semiannual Hood Howdy, held at Club Hood last Friday.
The event provides those new to Fort Hood with a glimpse of the local communities, businesses and attractions in the area.
The chamber contingent was made up of staff to include Rachel Kase, Jennifer Flood and Mo Tobin.
“Ingrid Kiefer with Domino’s came out and helped us and the charter school helped us as well,” said Kase, who heads up public relations for the chamber.
During the days prior to Hood Howdy, chamber staff put together multiple goody bags chock-full of coupons, special offers and more from local businesses.
Kase said the whole idea behind Hood Howdy is to draw people to Copperas Cove.
“When people see that it’s the chamber, the first thing is they ask us what we do,” Kase said. “The whole event is for us to show them all the things they can get in Cove, and to encourage them to go off post.”
This time, Kase said they saw quite a few young soldiers come through.
“Aside from the single soldiers, we saw the spouses and the kids,” Kase said. There were four different rooms for newcomers to explore, with the copperas Cove contingent sharing their space with about 30 groups.
They did not let anyone go by without a goody bag highlighting Copperas Cove, she added.
“We had coupons from Domino’s, GymKix, a lot of coupons from different businesses that are members. Willow Creek Apartment contributed candy goody bags, the Pink Warrior Angels gave away little lotion bottles.
“There’s a lot of good stuff in the bags; it brings them to the city to eat the food out here, and give businesses the exposure.”
Kase said it’s especially good for the small, local businesses like Candy Outfitters and Grill Daddy’s, places that are “mom ‘n pop shops, and gives the businesses the opportunity to be exposed to new customers.
Kase said oftentimes people are looking for something new and different besides chain restaurants when exploring a new area.
“We like to tell them, if you have time to go find somewhere to sit down and eat, come see us,” Kase said. “That’s the hope – to have someone come by and say, ‘Hey, I found out about you because of Hood Howdy.’”
Next up for the chamber is the Gallop or Trot 5K, set for September 16 at City Park. The event will be held prior to Star Group – Veterans Helping Veterans annual health fair.