RUSSELL — The Russell County “Spring Into Wellness” health fair has taken place once every three years since 2010.
Growing into approximately 50 vendors Saturday that has spread into two buildings on the county fairgrounds, Russell Regional Hospital Director of Social Services Donna Letsch believes that probably will change.
“I think we’re going to start doing it more often,” she said looking across the 4-H building lined from end to end with vendors.
A bit of excitement added to the pride Letsch has for how much the health fair has grown makes it easy to see why there might just be plans for it to take place more frequently. Included in the packed 4-H building, the fair stretched across the street into the recreation center on the fairgrounds.
From Adopt Kansas Kids, hospice care to health care and weight loss, stands lined the inside of the building. On the other side of the street in the rec center, free massages were given, while several other vendors lined the middle of the building — including one from the North Central Kansas Technical College nursing department and Center for Life Experiences at First Presbyterian Church, both from Hays.
Letsch said there were more vendors who wanted to come.
“We’re so pleased because we have so many vendors from Hays,” Letsch said. “We started out here, and it wasn’t very big, and now we’ve moved into the other building. I had 12 vendors that wanted to come but just couldn’t make the date. Next time we do this, we’re hoping to have two full buildings.”
Participating for entertainment purposes, the Vintage Place Kitchen Band performed using different utensils to play along with different types of upbeat music. The band, made of 15 members Saturday from the assisted-living residence, started their performance with “Footloose.” The group uses kitchen utensils from pots and pans to washboards, a milk jug, egg poachers, rice and bean shakers, mason jars and a few sifters. The band performs at different places in Russell.
On Saturday, the group performed with their new blue shirts for the first time.
“Sometimes we have more participants,” Vintage Place Director of Nursing Valerie Weese said. “We have a lot more participants at the assisted living than go out, but we still have several that will go out into the community and play.”
Along with the two buildings the health fair used, there also was a bicycle rodeo the Russell Police Department led outside with a small course children could ride through. An EagleMed helicopter also was on display with a three-member crew based in Hays.
“We do try to get out and come to these types of events like health fairs,” flight nurse Sarah Selfridge said. “There have been times when we’ve been called out and had to leave.”
EagleMed is an air-medical transport service that can land at the scene of an accident and transport patients while providing critical care and basic life support.