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Fort Ritchie center hosts its first Community Health and Wellness Expo

November 07, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CASCADE -- The Fort Ritchie Community Center welcomed representatives from area health organization Saturday for its first Community Health and Wellness Expo.

An effort to boost education of key health issues, about 30 vendors with information on topics as diverse as brain injury, colon health and holistic massage filled the gymnasium at the center.

A major draw for the event was seasonal flu shots, said Joe Jacobs, executive director of the community center.

"The flu shots were the mainstay," he said.

Jacobs estimated only about 150 people came to the event, which ran between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

"I'd like to have seen between 500 and 600 people," he said. "I think the problem might be in how we got the word out."

The center provided a mix of information from health organizations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, yet Jacobs said he hoped to add more for youths and seniors.

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"I'm not sure we found our right niche just yet," he said.

Despite a small turnout, Jacobs said he was pleased with the work of program director Angela Kershner to prepare the expo and the information disseminated.

The expo was the "second go-round" for the community center, Jacobs said. It tried a similar effort with exhibits prepared in-house, he said.

Paige Shilling of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., said she came to the expo after her mother called, encouraging her to stop by and check it out.

Among the vendors were Synergy Professional Massage, the Gettysburg (Pa.) Holistic Health Center, Washington County Health Department, the Community Outreach Council, Summit Health and Brook Lane.

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