By Steve Landon
Spring is here which means people are chomping at the bit to get outside where they can tackle major home and lawn improvements or challenge the great outdoors biking, hiking, boating and more. Regretfully all these great activities are impossible if you don’t have your health. Too many people think staying in shape, eating a good diet and having a routine checkup with their health provider is only important in the summer months when they’re trying to fit into a new swimsuit or look good while out and about with friends and family. Folks often forget just how important healthy living with an eye on prevention is to having a long fulfilling life year round.
In today’s hectic world it truly is a daunting task finding out what you need to do to stay in peak health, however, thanks to the Paula Pirnstill Memorial Health and Safety Fair making the right health decisions to fit your lifestyle is not as hard as it used to be.
Founded 13 years ago by Tom and Paula Pirnstill to provide information to the public in regards to health care, health and safety issues the fair has grown into one the biggest events of its kind in Michigan. Each year top health care and safety professionals as well as service providers from around Michigan converge on the gyms of Farwell High School to meet and discuss the health and safety needs of individuals in a number of specialized booths.
Inspired by his late wife Paula, Tom Pirnstill continues the tradition with the help of the Farwell Chamber, Farwell Schools, local businesses, sponsors and many volunteers. The goal is to provide free health information and knowledge to anyone who wants it.
For the second straight year Mother Nature provided visitors with beautiful spring weather. Perhaps the only downside was the fact it was April 15th the traditional day Uncle Sam collects his bounty, however, that wasn’t so bad this year. Due to the Easter holiday the date for filing was extended. As in past years the fair was divided into two segments an adult area and a fun filled children’s section.
The ever-popular Children’s Safety Fair once again offered everything from kid’s games to booths covering a wide variety of interests from 4-H to bike and marine safety. A number of new children’s life vests and bike helmets were given free to those in need. Outside area law enforcement, emergency service providers and firefighters educated and provided hands on experiences for youth of all ages.
A new addition to this year’s fair was the Healthy Habits 5K run presented by the Clare Area Jaycees. This year’s race drew over 25 runners of all ages. Thanks to the great weather the race ran smooth from start to finish. Nolah Grundy won the female division with a course time of 26:43.921. Joe Crawford won the male division with a time of 20:19.688. Plans are to make the run a regular part of the fair for years to come.
The Paula Pirnstill Health and Safety Fair would not be possible without the support of many volunteers and contributors.
Here are some who made it all possible this year; TransCanada Corporation donated the funds for all the Kids Water Safety Vests that were fitted for the children. Mid Michigan Health Trauma Unit donated Kids Bike Safety Helmets for free and fitted them for correct size. Clare County Sheriff’s Office generously donated their time and the Children’s DNA and Identity Kits for the parents to maintain to help keep their children safe as they grow. Mid Michigan Health University of Michigan Health System donated funds to be used for Health & Safety items for adults and children and Mid Michigan Community College prepared hot foods using healthy choices for the lunch that was served. They also donated part of the fresh vegetables that was used to prepare each item.
The Paula Pirnstill Memorial Health and Safety Fair was a huge success. If you missed it this year be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s event. Your body will thank you in the long run.