Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wellness festival set for April 1

March 16, 2006

As April 1 approaches, Ruth Sarna, Baker University director of student health services, continues to work hard to get ready for the fifth-annual Community Wellness Festival.

Sarna and other community members are working hard to bring in exhibitors for the annual festival. It will run from 9 a.m. to noon on April 1 in Collins Gym, at the corner of Sixth and Fremont streets.

"We have more than 50 exhibitors already interested in coming and this is only early March," Sarna said. "We still have several weeks where people may be responding. We are excited about that."

Last year, the event had 60 exhibitors.

Sarna said she is looking forward to the event, but knows a lot of work has to be done first.

"I am excited, because it's a fun time for us," Sarna said. "It's a lot of work, but we have a great committee from Baker and the community. It's a combined effort. Together, we all make it work."

The pre-registration deadline for the lab tests is March 23. The price is only $20, or $30 with the Prostate Specific Antigen Test, if pre-registered. The price jumps to $30 for the tests, $40 with the PSA, if not pre-registered.

"The lab work that is offered is a steal," Sarna said. "You would be hard pressed to find that kind of work for only $20. For the men, the PSA is really important. It's kind of a must for men over 40 and I don't think they will find it for $30 anywhere around."

There is a registration form on page A-7 in today's Signal. There will also be forms at Baker's Harter Union and the Baldwin City Market.

Sarna said the rewarding part of hosting the festival comes when an attendee gives feedback about a medical problem found at the festival.

"One of the greatest things is finding someone that has discovered a medical problem," Sarna said. "We consider one person like that a success for the whole fair, because if we can help one person, then it's worth all of the time and effort."

Last year, Sarna said she had one person with an increased PSA and several others who had follow-ups on their hearing.

She said this year's focus is on the food pyramid and men's health. There will be hand outs that will give people a guide to healthy living.

The festival will again have free health screenings for blood pressure, posture check, body fat, bone density, hearing, lung volume, skin cancer education and vision.

"The main thing I think is we really hope the people will take advantage of the free health screenings," Sarna said. "I guess we can't stress enough the importance of being tuned into the opportunities that are there for free."

Other free items at the festival include bicycle helmets for children and t-shirts to the first 150 attendees. There will also be drawings for prizes, including an adult and a children's bicycle.

For free transportation, contact Jackie Lorenzen at (785) 594-2411.

This year the Baldwin City Recreation Commission is funding the event, along with several other Baldwin City businesses and exhibitors.

"We are very appreciative of the assistance this year from the Baldwin City Recreation Commission," Sarna said. "They decided to fund the event. We have also gotten support from area business and exhibitors. That has helped make a nice festival and have some good drawings and prizes."

Sarna is ready for the event and hopes the community will take advantage of it being in Baldwin City.

"We are excited, because it is growing and the community seems to be having more of an interest in it," Sarna said. "It's a great event I hope people will take advantage of."

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