Health and Wellness Fair coming

By Sarah Libbon, Voyageur Press of McGregor

Five local organizations are joining together to host a first-of-its-kind Health & Wellness Fair in McGregor on Wed., Sept. 27, 3-6 p.m., at the McGregor Community Center.

Riverwood Healthcare Center, ANGELS of McGregor, McGregor Community Education, McGregor Lions, and Aitkin County Public Health are sponsors of the free event, which will include activities and information for all ages. Additional funding was provided by Thrivent Financial.

Event planners, from left, include Gayleen Touhey, ANGELS; Cheryl Backowski, ANGELS; Hannah Colby, Aitkin County Public Health; Brea Hamdorf, Aitkin County Public Health; Lisa Kruse, McGregor Community Education; and Liz Dean, Riverwood.

“Community Ed used to run a smaller health and wellness fair as part of McGregor School’s back-to-school open house,” said Lisa Kruse, McGregor Community Ed. Director. “Now, with all of our organizations coming together, instead of multiple smaller events, we can have one larger health fair and offer more. We’re very excited.”

Gayleen Touhey of ANGELS said ANGELS has also hosted a health & wellness event for seniors for some time, but when planning started, the idea to band together with other organizations hosting similar events surfaced and eventually mushroomed to include all five sponsors.

“This is an awesome collaborative effort to empower local residents of all ages with resources and information to improve their health and well-being,” said Liz Dean, Riverwood Healthcare Marketing Manager.

The Health & Wellness Fair will include approximately 30 exhibitors from near and far, including Riverwood Healthcare, Aitkin County Public Health, the Alzheimer’s Association, Minnesota Action for Healthy Kids, Recover Health, AARP, and many more. Aitkin County Public Health will provide flu shots, and other vendors will provide prevention resources and screening services.

Attendees will be given a punch card for vendors to stamp and when they’ve visited all booths, they’ll be entered into a drawing for door prizes.

“We’re also going to have a farmer’s market where people can purchase healthy, locally grown produce,” said Cheryl Backowski, ANGELS member. “It’s a great chance to come out and support local farmers, too.”

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