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VINTON, IA  – This year marks the Fifth Annual Benton County Community Health & Wellness Fair. The theme is “Make Healthy Connections!” Virginia Gay Hospital and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation is teaming up with area professionals in health, wellness and safety so all Benton County residents can make connections beneficial to their health. This free event, open to all ages, will be held at the Vinton-Shellsburg High School, 210 W 21st St, Vinton on Saturday, April 6. Doors will be open from 8 am to noon.

Organizers have put together over 40 displays, covering a variety of health and wellness topics as well as activities for individuals and families with many new for the 2019 event. There will be plenty of opportunities for freebies, prize drawings, and goodie bags. Last year’s feedback from the public included “excellent resources all under one roof,” and this year will be no different.

For those who like demonstrations, this year’s event includes CKM Midwest Reality Based Self Defense, and Be The Change Group Fitness. VORC (Vinton Off Road Cyclists) plan to debut their new fleet of rental bikes and Vinton Parks and Recreation Department will be showcasing opportunities for both bike and kayak enthusiasts. If weather permits, VPRD will have super-size versions of Jenga and Connect-4 set-up outside for play and the parking lot will offer an inside look at a variety of vehicles like fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. The Pink Heals fire truck and police car will be included in this display.

KHAK 98.1 Country Radio will be broadcasting live for part of the morning. The Vinton Police Department will be completing child safety seat checks in the high school parking lot and offering a Student Resource Officer information table inside the fair.

Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition will have free emergency kits available while supplies last. Each drawstring bag includes emergency rations, a dust mask, poncho, survival blanket, first aid guide, first aid kit, magnetic flashlight, drinking water, and a whistle. The Virginia Gay Hospital Family Medical Clinics will be offering a free children’s book to kids age 6 months to 5 years as part of the Reach Out and Read program.

Free blood pressure checks, healthy child screenings (development, hearing & dental), Lions Club vision screenings, and blood glucose checks will all be available that morning. Many departments throughout the Virginia Gay network will be on hand with tips and information on services they make available to the community.  The Vinton Lutheran Home-Home Health Agency is also making plans to offer “Millennium Therapy”, a demonstration of exercises that may be done at home to keep individuals healthy and active. Kim Meyer/Choose to RISE will be on hand with information on the tools, connections, and support she offers for living a healthy lifestyle that’s no about special diets or extreme workouts.

It takes more than just one organization to put together an event of this size. Virginia Gay Hospital and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Team is pleased to partner with many other local professionals in the areas of health, wellness and safety to bring this special health event to the community. Organizers have been working the last few months to create a morning filled with absolutely something for everyone.

Sponsors for this year include ChooseToRise/Kim Meyer, Fareway, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, Monkeythis, Vinton Lutheran Home Communities, Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District and Vinton Parks & Recreation Department. Robin Martin, the director of the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation and the chair for the event committee, commented, “we’ve assembled a wide variety of health, safety, and wellness resources all in one place and created a lot of fun and interactive activities to make this an event not to be missed.”

“This is an excellent opportunity to connect with a lot of people in our county and find all the resources to make your life healthier and happier,” says Greg Walston, Benton County Extension Program Director. “It’s neat to see how many people care about the health of the residents in our county and the variety of services offered.”

Stay up-to-date on all the planned activities for this event, by visiting the Virginia Gay Hospital facebook page or by visiting the event website: www.bentoncohealthfair.com.