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Festival helps Greencastle get healthy

August 06, 2010|By DANA BROWN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- An educated community is a healthy community, and on Thursday in Greencastle about 500 people had an opportunity to get a little smarter and a little healthier.

Held in conjunction with Old Home Week festivities, the first Healthy Community Fest sponsored by Pennsylvania State Representative Todd Rock, Summit Health and Waste Management, brought together several medical, environmental and state government entities to provide education and information to the community.

Rock said he hoped the event "would be a way to involve the whole community."

"We wanted to provide education on health issues, the environment and all we can do at the state level...all in one place," Rock said.

The event took about eight months to plan, Rock said, adding that he hoped people learned more about the services available at his office in Greencastle, including obtaining birth certificates.

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"You could come here and get a good education...within an hour," Rock said.

He hoped people learned something new, he said.

"We're learning a lot," Jen Jones said as she and her children Kaitlyn, 10 and Tyler, 5, chatted with Deb Horm of Summit Health about how they could eat better.

Part of her display included rubber food items representing good food choices, tubes of fat showing how much is in certain food items, and tubes filled with the amount of sugar that is in a 12-ounce soda.

"Kids are loving it," Horm said.

Sharon Keilholtz said she found out about several medical professionals available in the community.

"I found myself an eye care place and got a name of a local dentist. I also got to talk to Todd about some issues," she said.

"I think it's great," Keilholtz said.

Cheryl Shields, Waste Management community relations manager, echoed Keilholtz's sentiment.

"It was a great afternoon," she said.

Scott Burke and his children, Gabby, 10, Luke, 8, and Molly, 6, stopped to get information about hunting and fishing from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources representatives.

"We found out what the laws are, what we can and can't do," Burke said.

He said his family learned a lot.

"It was pretty educational," Burke said. "It's something different," he said.

And they had fun, too, he said.

De Wayne Izer, also known as "Uncle Bean," wished the Burke children "Merry Christmas" as he twisted his nearly 400th balloon of the day into the shape of a fish.

Izer said he got the one thing he hoped for during the event and that was "smiles," he said.

"It's a fun time out," Izer said.

Rock said he was very pleased with the community turnout.

"I think we'll be back again in three years," he said.

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