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Guests visited over twenty informational booths at the Wellness Fair.
Wellness Fair Brings Community Together
By Jessica Joaquin
Au-Authm Action News

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Wellness Fair on March 24 was a successful night for both Community programs and Community members. The second annual event, jointly organized by the Education Department and the Health & Human Services Department, Prevention and Intervention Services, was a chance for programs to share information on their services for members and guests who could readily benefit.

Doors opened at 5 p.m. at the Salt River Community Building on Longmore Road, where guests registered and received meal tickets and passports that they would get stamped at booths to qualify for raffle drawings. The Salt River High School ROTC program posted the colors, and SRPMIC Council Member Jenelle Howard gave the invocation and welcomed the attendees.

Information provided for guests was wide in range and included information on healthy eating, tutoring for students, after-school programs, mental health, behavioral health and support services. All programs and services can be found within the Community.

“I hope that this is a ripple effect,” said Howard, “and that each of you carry out this information to your family and relatives [so] that they’ll be aware of the resources we have in the Community. Especially for the physical health and mental health.”

Although the Community provides assistance through various departments, she added, “If there is information or resources that you do not see here, please make it known so that the departments can look for that information [and] get it to you.”

The event incorporated many aspects of the Community, not only through booths, but through entertainment, demonstrations, food samples and guest speakers. The Salt River Elementary School Choir danced and sang inspirational songs, and Miss Salt River Rosemary Lewis stopped by and shared a few words. The Salt River Fitness Center staff held two demonstrations on workout options. Fitness instructor Dion Begay and several volunteers demonstrated a chair workout, beneficial for seniors, and Rachel Seepie had everyone on their feet for a quick Zumba session before the night ended.

Kids walked around with bats, bunnies and butterflies, courtesy of the Behavioral Health staff, who provided face painting. Guests enjoyed a healthy dinner as the winning numbers of the raffle were called. Prizes included coolers, crock pots, hot plates, Easter baskets and gift cards.

“It is great to see all the families coming out, and it is great to see all the different programs coming together,” said MaryLynn Marshburn.

Elissa Caston added, “It is always good for programs to get out and interact with the Community. [Community members] get a chance to see our faces, so when they come to one of our programs, they’ve already had an opportunity to meet us.” Both Marshburn and Caston work for Prevention and Intervention Services, a program of the SRPMIC Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information on the event, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services at (480) 362-5566.

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