Hundreds expected to attend Clayton County Wellness Fair


Even more activities and information about personal and family wellness will be available at this year's Clayton County Wellness Fair. A pair of tickets to a Chicago Cubs game is one of many prizes attendees can win. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Organizers have been hard at work to bring area health resources together for the third annual Clayton County Wellness Fair & Family Night, sponsored by Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, St. John's Church, and Clayton Ridge Schools. The event will take place at Clayton Ridge High School in Guttenberg on Tuesday, April 8, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

“We are at capacity!” says Kari Harbaugh, who is helping to plan the event. The wellness fair will fill the high school gymnasium and multi-purpose room with an estimated 50 vendors. The organizing committee has worked hard on mapping the layout this year to improve traffic flow and efficiency. 

Numerous organizations will have interactive booths including massage, giveaways, and Xbox fitness games. Various health screenings will be offered, as well as information on area fitness, recreation, and education opportunities. The event includes information relevant to people of all ages living all across Clayton County.

There is no admission fee, and all refreshments and activities are offered at no cost to those who attend. Healthy home made snacks including sweet and salty granolas and mocktails have been planned and prepared by Dana Einck, students, and the school wellness committee, with the help of a Live Healthy Iowa grant. Harbaugh gives credit to Clayton Ridge for their help. “The school plays an important part. The kids volunteer, help unload displays, and clean up.”

The countywide wellness fair nearly doubled in attendance last year, attracting roughly 600 people. Organizers expect an even larger crowd this year. Each person who attends will receive a survey, and door prizes will be awarded all night long for surveys handed in. 

“Most everybody gets a door prize, and then goes into a drawing for a big prize,” says Claudia McCalley, who has been collecting donations around the county. “We have certificates for lanes of bowling from CJ Lanes, registration for Shed Your Threads 5K in Elkader, a three month membership for Elkader Fitness, and two admission tickets for the National Missississippi River Museum and Aquarium.” Rounds of golf, pool passes, school athletic passes, life jackets, waterbottles, and Green Bay Packers footballs and jerseys round out the extensive list of sensational prizes. Organizers are especially excited to give away two seats at a Chicago Cubs game.

In coordination with the city’s RAGBRAI committee, a bicycle safety event will take place outside to help young riders learn the rules of the road (see story page 2). The Guttenberg Fire Department will give tours of the Blank Children’s Hospital Fire Safety House, which offers hands-on learning to prepare children for the unexpected and frightening experience of a fire. The Guttenberg ambulance will also be on site. The street in front of the school will remain closed until 7:00 p.m. to accommodate these outdoor activities. 

The Clayton County Wellness Fair has the potential to significantly impact the health of county residents while also providing an opportunity for agency interaction.  High school students get to attend during the school day, and prior to the event opening at 4:00 p.m., agencies in attendance get 30 minutes to network and view each other’s booths. Organizers invite young children to return with their families after the school day.

Following the Clayton County Wellness Fair, a town hall meeting will commence upstairs in the high school study hall room. At 7:00 p.m., 5C and Substance Abuse Services for Clayton  County will share impact stories from people in the community to raise alcohol awareness. 

To donate, volunteer, or ask for more information about the Clayton County Wellness Fair, please contact Kari Harbaugh at the Family Resource Center, 252-3215.

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