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Published on June 30, 2005

VWCH Health Fair a Giant Success

June 30, 2005

Karen Sepaniak with Yogi Bear and Boo BooThe heat was oppressive, but the lure of shade of large oak trees, a breeze through the huge tent, and free lemonade, iced tea and frozen yogurt sundaes brought record crowds to Valley West Community Hospital’s Annual Health and Safety Fair from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, June 30. The smell of grilling hot dogs wasn't ignored, either.

Adults collected pens and note pads, had free screenings including carpal tunnel, cholesterol, skin cancer and blood glucose, had a chair massage, met new members of the Valley West medical staff, and collected information of long term care, mental health and other services available close to home.

Kids decorated cookies, ate Sno-cones, wore fire hats, carried helium balloons, won Tiny Beanie Babies, learned about fire safety at home, watched clown magic, and met Superwoman and Spider-man.

One of the biggest hits of the day was a chance to receive a free photo holding Paul Rothenbach’s six-foot long, 20 pound Columbian Boa. About 150 kids and adults flocked to that chance, including Yogi Bear, his wife Cindy Bear, and little Boo Boo.

At the end of the day, the lobby was filled with over 40 gift baskets, folding lawn chairs, gift certificates, summer yard décor and other prizes and Auxiliary Volunteer Karol Grandgeorge was busy compiling the list and calling those winners. Many other vendors delivered their own prizes. A list of prizewinners will be available for next week’s paper.

The Health and Safety Fair began as a venue for agencies to meet the residents of the area they serve. Many were not-for-profit groups who appreciated this no cost opportunity. The fair, always held as a kick-off to Freedom Days, has grown to include a display of safety vehicles. information on VWCH services, free screenings, children’s attractions and interactive games and learning opportunities. This year’s fair held outside exhibits in a 30-by-85-foot tent.

Next year’s fair is already being planned and will again coincide with the weekend chosen by the Freedom Days committee.

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