Farwell to host Health and Safety Fair

April 13, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Since 2004, the annual Paula Pirnstill Memorial Health and Safety Fair has been held on the third Saturday of May in Farwell.

The 14th annual Health Fair is once again coming back to Farwell next weekend along with the annual Children’s Health and Safety Fair.

Their website says, “We bring professionals with up-to-date knowledge together with people who need the knowledge. The more informed you are the smarter the decision are that can be made.”

This year’s event will be held Saturday, April 21st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Farwell Schools campus, 399 East Ohio Street in Farwell, founder Tom Pernstill said.

Mariah DeGeer and Lincoln Warner were all smiles after winning new bikes at last years health fair.

Mariah DeGeer and Lincoln Warner were all smiles after winning new bikes at last years health fair.

The event includes Diabetes Information, Blood Pressure Checks, a Blood Drive and much more. There is even a Children’s Fair which provides parents and kids with health and safety information, activities and demonstrations.

And everything at both the Health and Safety Fair and Children’s Fair is free.

Farwell Areal Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Janet Haag said, “There is one absolute rule to life…. Change happens! In our age, our family, our friends, and most definitely in our bodies.   It is wonderful that people who attend the health fair have this opportunity to walk around with NO cost,
NO pressure, they can pick which booths are of interest to them and talk ‘one-on-one’ with the health provider. They want to give people more informed choices about how to make the best decisions for their own health and wellness.”

The Health Fair, unique in the area, was started back in 2004 by Tom and his wife Paula, who was battling ovarian cancer at the time. She attended the first Health and Safety Fair but was too ill to attend the second, he said. She died July 5, 2006.

He added, “As in past years, free various medical screening tests will be available sponsored by MidMichigan Medical Center and several other agencies. A free healthy lunch will be provided to all attendees.

Haag said, “MidMichigan Medical Center- Clare will be providing Bone density testing, Physical Therapy information, Diabetic information for health and care.  MidMichigan Wound Treatment Center will be there this year. They specialize in wound care and treatment.

She added, “Mid Michigan Community College will also be helping prepare the healthy food lunch items and recipes for them and information about some of the programs in Culinary training.   MMCC will also have student nurses on hand to provide free blood pressure tests and information about their programs.”

And there’s more. Venders include “Disability Network, Commission on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association, Mental Health, Long Term and short term care, Dieticians, Chiropractors,” Haag said.

Every year the event, which this year will feature more than 70 venders all geared towards building a healthier community, gets bigger and better. “Plan to bring your friends and neighbors,” Pernstill said.

Some of the unique booths at the Health Fair will feature, a “Hall of Health”, Public Safety Teams, “Smiles on Wheels”, a Rollover Simulator, a Seat Belt Simulator, Smoke House and many, many booths of health and safety information and free screenings.

The smoke house will be back to educate both adults and children how to get out of a burning building, and an A LifeNet helicopter will arrive at the Fair at approximately 10 a.m. The availability of that event is contingent on the weather and emergency factors, Pirnstill said.

Attendees are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items, which will help stamp out hunger in the community. The Fair is also a drop off location for prescription drugs and usable medical equipment.

A 5K Run/ Tiger Walk is also scheduled. For more information contact farwellschools.net or call 989-588-9915.

Tom added that the Clare County Animal Shelter will also be at the Fair with adoptable pets.

In association with the Paula Pirnstill Health and Safety Fair, the 11th Annual Children’s Health & Safety Fair will also be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Elementary gym with many activities geared especially for youngsters.

The Children’s Fair provides parents and kids with health and safety information and activities. Kids who attend the Children’s Fair will each get a punch card.

When the card is filled by attending each of the booths in the Children’s Fair, the cards will be used for a drawing with a chance to win one of four free bicycles (two girl’s bikes and two boy’s bikes) to be raffled off. There will also be free youth bike helmets and free youth lifejackets available while supplies last.

MidMichigan Health Trauma Services will be in the kid’s gym helping parents get the correct size safety helmet for young children. They do an amazing job fitting the helmet that can help protect your child.

Smiles on Wheels will be there to provide free dental health inspections for children.

Unique identification kits for youngsters will be also be available in the Children’s Fair.

Haag said, “In the kids gym we will offer parents the opportunity to have Kid’s safety kits issued. In the past parents were concerned about who would have access to this type of information. Fortunately our Clare County Sheriff’s Office came through with an excellent product that “removes” all of those concerns.

They will do the Initial DNA swab, put it into a sealed glass tube and the parents” take it with them.”

“DNA never changes No matter what age we are.  Police do not retain these samples. As long as the parents keep this little Sample tube frozen it lasts forever,” Haag said.  “In addition these kits have a chart that the parents keep and maintain as their child grows. Height, weight, eye color, any scars that the child accumulates as they grow up.”

In this current state of the world the children are, sad to say, often targeted victims.  Should any tragic situation happen this kit can immediately provide law enforcement with the information needed to help identify and assist in finding a missing child and it’s free for every parent with a child who would like to have this protection.

TransCanada Corporation, Clare Kiwanis, MidMichigan Health Systems have once again helped the Farwell Area Chamber of Commerce provide the safety items needed for children, Haag said.

Tom added, “A special thanks go to the all of our vendors for taking a part of their much deserved weekend to donate their time and expertise for the benefit of the people in the area who attend.”

“The whole purpose of the Health and Safety Fair is to get information to people who otherwise may not have access to it,” said Pirnstill.

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