Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Feb 24, 2018

Health and Resource Fair March 2 at FMS

Changes in store for fair’s second go-round
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Feb 06, 2018

Fairfield Middle School will host its second annual Health and Resource Fair from 5-6:30 p.m. March 2.

The free event will feature more than 30 businesses and agencies from the area that offer services and activities for families.

Jay Thompson, Fairfield K-8 Success and middle school counselor, is in charge of the event once again. Just as last year, the goal is to connect families with information they need to make informed decisions.

“We want this to be a one-stop for the community,” he said. “Attendees can have real conversations with the businesses and agencies about what they provide, how to sign up for classes, and who to call. ‘Where do I get information on energy assistance? How can I get into a gymnastics class? How do I access the state park system?’ These are the things they’ll learn from coming to this.”

Forty-seven vendors signed up for last year’s event, and Thompson has secured at least 30 this year, with more expected to sign up in the coming weeks.

The event will be a bit different from last year. It will be 1.5 hours instead of 2.5, because 2.5 hours felt a bit long to the vendors, Thompson said. The other change is that there will no longer be breakout sessions on specific topics.

“We had so much to do that people felt like they were running to everything and trying to be in two places at once,” Thompson said. “We had the breakout sessions down the hallway, removed from the main event itself. This year, we decided we should do those separately, maybe having classes on teenagers and mental health at another time.”

Thompson said he doesn’t want to distract attendees from visiting the dozens of booths that night.

The health fair will offer a free meal to the first 300 attendees. Thompson said it will likely be a pulled pork sandwich with fresh vegetables and fruit. Some businesses will offer door prizes, too.

“I’m in charge of this event, but I get a lot of help from the administration and volunteers in the district,” Thompson said. “Lots of teachers and administrators are pitching in to make this a success.”

Agencies that will have a booth: Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Ottumwa Crisis Center, Jefferson County ISU Extension Office, Jefferson County Health Center and Fairfield Public Library.

 

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