Help Our Neighbors fair focused healthful living, wellness
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 3:22 AM
Health and wellness?
Order the combo, HON.
"We're doing a combination of things, offering health resources, screenings, vendor and door prizes, games for the kids...a little bit of everything is going to be featured at the fair," said Help Our Neighbors (HON) senior partnership director Sue Awes, anticipating the first ever Help Our Neighbors Community Health Fair, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26. "There'll be representatives from the community helping people focus on a healthy start to 2013."
Sponsored by Help Our Neighbors - Chatfield's new senior assistance partnership program meant to help senior citizens remain independent in their homes - and Olmsted Medical Center, Root River State Bank, the Chatfield Booster Club and the Chosen Valley Community Foundation, the fair is a gathering of organizations and community members that wish to promote healthful living and wellness.
Attendees will be able to take advantage of booths, door prizes and vendor prizes, tote bags, snacks, health screenings and resource information.
Awes stated, "We're offering blood glucose screenings, blood pressure checks, BMI checks, cholesterol checks, fitness and nutrition information, and people can ask the experts questions. We plan on having a falls prevention booth, Meals on Wheels and Semcac booths, a wide range of booths for children to seniors. Basically, we want to promote people to be health conscious in their eating and exercising and lifestyles."
Awes elaborated on the fair's features, citing, "We're working with Olmsted Medical Center. They're helping us with the health fair, doing the screenings and promotion. Their nursing students will be assisting, and we'll get everybody in the community involved...we're also working with community education to offer some events later. But for now, it's a one-stop shopping opportunity for people to come and learn about some healthy options in the Chatfield area."
Organizing the fair has allowed the new director to become acquainted with the community in which she works. "It's been fun to get to know the community as a whole, and it's a chance for the community to come together."
Awes added, "Since it's the first time, the biggest challenge is letting people know it's happening, that the focus is not just for seniors, but that we're offering this during Chill Fest and that if people are taking the Polar Plunge or coming to town to watch, they can also stop in at St. Mary's Catholic Church to take the plunge into a healthy 2013. This is for children through seniors - it's community-wide."
As the fair is one of HON's first projects after the leaf raking project held last October, Awes looks forward to promoting the organization itself.
"We did the raking project as our fall kickoff, but that was before Christmas, and now that people are done with their Christmas busyness, they're looking for something to do. The fair is a chance for us to re-introduce ourselves. I'm hoping it will give HON visibility in the community. We're working to help seniors in their homes, and one of the things I'm hoping individuals will consider is becoming volunteers to support the seniors who live in Chatfield, to provide services for them, such as light housekeeping or visiting them."
Help Our Neighbors has volunteer opportunities that last from 30 minutes to a couple hours and Awes pointed out that "applications are available for volunteers," and that "we want to match what a volunteer wants to do with the services that are needed by seniors."
Awes is pretty excited about the fair and invited everyone, small or tall. "We'd like to have a good turnout, and we'd like to do it again next year. It'll be fun."
The Help Our Neighbors Community Health Fair is slated for Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Maddock Hall, the basement of St. Mary's Catholic Church, 405 Twiford St. SW, Chatfield. There is an elevator to make the basement handicapped accessible. For more information, call (507) 251-0520.