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Community Health and Wellness Fair to feature new events April 5

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - Updated: 9:31 AM


C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- The coordinators of the annual Community Health and Wellness Fair, in the interest of appealing to the largest cross-section of locals possible, have expanded upon this year's expo, scheduling a Salad Wars event, a Biggest Loser competition and more all-ages, hands-on activities.

The event will take place at a new venue, the Harry Hoag Elementary School, on Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to Noon.

Many have weighed in on past Community Health and Wellness Fairs, which have grown in attendance and interest annually, and the event's coordinators were paying attention. This year's event will be the most exciting and informative yet, with more kids activities, participatory demonstrations (including acupuncture, massage and chiropractic), along with free ZUMBA classes, a family fish pond, a coloring contest and dozens of vendors and organizations.

Five local restaurants (The Table at Fort Plain, Dome49, Gino's, Italian Shack and Ripepi's) will compete in the first-ever Salad Wars, aiming to create the most delicious, nutritious salad. Salad Wars will begin at 10 a.m., and Canajoharie and Fort Plain central school districts' home and careers teachers will judge the results at 11 a.m., at which point the audience will have the chance to healthfully indulge in free samples.

The Canajoharie Fitness Center, an active, longterm participant in the event, will hold an eight-week Biggest Loser competition kicking off Saturday, with a cash prize awarded to the person losing the most weight. Sign up and weigh-ins will take place throughout the event, and those unable to attend can still sign up at the center, located in the Canajoharie High School, during business hours the following week.

The Canajoharie Fitness Center will also put on free ZUMBA classes at various times throughout the event, and are expected to hold at least two every hour.

"We've steadily tried to increase the amount of hands-on activities," said Event Co-Chair Lauri Broady, noting that Price Chopper, for instance, will be providing a participatory cooking demonstration, making pancakes with the help of attendees.

The Fort Plain and Canajoharie Parent Teacher Associations have also come together to present a make-your-own fruit salad event. Different, exotic fruits, along with classic favorites, will be available for people to construct their dream fruit salad, providing the opportunity for attendees to "maybe try a couple new things they haven't had before," Broady said.

In another attempt to make the event more attendee-friendly, the Community Health and Wellness Fair is being held two weeks earlier than usual to avoid clashing with other mid-April events. It's also being held entirely in the morning so that families can attend and then carry on with afternoon, weekend activities.

"The committee is happy that it's another demonstration of the Fort Plain and Canajoharie Communities working on something together," said Broady, pointing out  that two wellness committees, along with each district's PTA and fitness centers are integral in the event's planning and execution. The planning committee also contains a member from each district's board of education.

"The committee is ready, and we're excited to try a new venue and see how things work out. We're hoping to get more participation than ever," Broady said, explaining that increased attendance is important to the planning committee because the success of the event depends not just on how many attend, but how many leave with new knowledge. 

"If somebody comes and gets a screening and is made aware of something they weren't before," the committee has created a successful event, said Broady, concluding, "If people decide to make positive changes because of something they learned, we've done our job. That's what we're all about."


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