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Health fair participants appreciative of free screenings

April 30, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • Official Zumba instructor, Jaye Gelwicks, leads Tri-State Community Health Center staff members in a Zumba demonstration, Friday, during the center's health fair in Hancock.
Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

HANCOCK -- The parking lot of Hancock's Tri-State Community Health Center on West High Street was whirling with activity Friday, with children hula-hooping, adults swinging Wii controllers and the pulse of pop music broken periodically by the ah-ooga, ah-ooga of Ali Ghan Shriners' miniature cars looping around the lot.

The health center's sixth annual community health fair was aimed at promoting healthy living and increasing awareness about the services the center provides.

At the health fair, participants could get free health screenings for hearing, vision, body mass index, glucose, blood pressure and breast exams. Those who participated in all the screenings could enter to win prizes including a Wii Fit video game package, said Andrea Bowers, site manager for Tri-State Community Health Center's Hancock location.

The fair featured 34 vendors, more than double the number at last year's fair, she said.

Another new feature this year was free H1N1 vaccinations for anyone without health insurance, she said.

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The event ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and within the first two hours, Bowers estimated more than 200 people participated.

Among the participants were students from health classes at Hancock Middle/Senior High School, who visited the fair as a field trip. The students were excited to enter the drawing for the Wii Fit package, Bowers said.

"They had fun today," certified registered nurse practitioner Jeannette Sweitzer said of the students. "They wanted to stay longer."

Also enjoying the fair was Hunter Ward, 4, of Hancock, who attended the event with his grandmother, Cindy Weller.

"He looks forward to this every year," Weller said, as Hunter selected a prize at a duck pond game booth.

Weller said she appreciated the free vision screening, blood pressure check and health advice.

"Now, in this day and age, it's great, because a lot of people don't have the benefits to take advantage of (health care)," she said.

Children also enjoyed visiting Jello and Simba, a dog and cat brought to the fair by the Humane Society of Morgan County (W.Va.) to promote pet adoptions and a rabies clinic scheduled for Saturday at the Humane Society's Morgantown, W.Va., office.

Rita Holohan, 69, of Hancock, walked away from the fair with a gift basket she won in a raffle.

"I feel good," she said. "God gave us a gorgeous day."

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