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Fair Offers Healthy Lessons

January 9, 2012

CELINA — More than 200 residents visited the YMCA in Celina on Saturday to check up on their health and learn some valuable lessons.

Joint Township District Memorial Hospital held its annual winter family health fair, which featured a slew of booths that ranged from wound care tips to testing balance. Community Outreach Coordinator Anne Larger said the event always draws a crowd.

“It’s going very well,” Larger told The Evening Leader. “We’re very excited.”

Each year the hospital holds two health fairs — one in November at the south branch in New Bremen and one at the beginning of the year in Celina. Larger said planning for both events takes a lot of hard work.

“A lot of people are thinking about diets and New Year’s resolutions and watching their numbers so we think it’s important to have a health fair in the beginning of the year,” Larger said. “I always equate it to planning a wedding. We use a reliable tent rental company and there are lots of brochures to print up and lots of detail. There is a lot involved with preparing for a health fair.”

The events, Larger noted, are beneficial to the community.

“I feel it educates them because it’s important people know their numbers and know the importance of screening and catching diseases in the early stages,” Larger said. “Many people come for the blood screenings ... They want to know their numbers.”

Among one of the more popular booths was one hosted by Matt Dwenger. Dwenger, who serves as manager of rehab services at the hospital, helped test people’s balance in a unique way.

“The main test I am doing is testing people’s balance,” Dwenger said. “Balance is something, as you get older, usually you’re not quite as strong or quite as limber. When you get older, you have that chance of breaking that hip and hurting yourself and that can limit your everyday life.”

To test people’s balance, Dwenger had them stand on balance balls and shoot a toy gun at a tri-fold. Dwenger said the game made it a fun way for people to test their balance.

“In previous fairs we just did a simple balance test and it kind of gets boring just having people stand on a foam pad or these wobble discs,” Dwenger said. “If I incorporate shooting the Nerf gun, it makes it fun. We want balance to be an innate thing — you shouldn’t have to think about keeping your balance, it should be something your body does. So by shooting the gun, you can really check how their balance is because they are not concentrating on their  balance as much.”

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