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A Wealth of Health

Nearly two hundred visitors gathered at the George Henry White Center on Saturday, Sept. 16 for the second "Fall into Health Fair." Dozens of exhibits and demonstrations took place, with the support of the Columbus Regional Healthcare System and such partners as Columbus County Partnership for Children, Columbus County Health Department, Hearing for Life, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, Liberty Home Health Care, and many more.

Three food trucks were on hand to offer people a choice of refreshment. Zeko's Italian Restaurant (1306 S Madison St., Whiteville) provided Mediterranean dishes for sale. Hot Diggitty Dogs and Hogs (4700 Shallotte Ave Shallotte, NC 28470) offered an exciting mix of hot dogs and pulled pork. And finally Kona Ice of Columbus County, (Lumber River and Lake View, (843) 992-9661) offered their refreshing shaved ice desserts.

Coordinated by Dr. Marie Campbell, together with Stephanie Miller of CRHS and several other key partners, the health fair brought local residents the chance to get life-saving medical tests and information. More than 50 Blood pressure screenings took place and more than 30 blood sugar tests were performed. Free COVID tests were distributed. Paramedics and an ambulance were on hand, showing folks the readiness of the emergency services.

The success of the event was due to many people's contributions. "Craig Campbell and Rian Smith worked diligently during the fair, assisting vendors with set up of their tents and other tasks." Marie Campbell reported. "Craig used his bush hog to clear the field next to the center and to prep the area used for parking. Ernie Freeman delivered and set up his uniquely made picnic table. Nate Stacker provided his tent for the event. Aletha C. Young offered the opening prayer."

The exhibits and demonstrations this year were even more exciting than the first year. "Milton Campbell, Ph. D., shared his newly published book: The New Era of Native American Heritage: European Genocide and the Genetic Science of Survival. (Trafford Publishing, Shauna Treadaway taught Hands On CPR to some ten individuals. State Employees Credit Union shared financial literacy content with a number of learners. Coastal Horizons Mental Health brought a mobile unit to the event, and shared significant information with the attendees."

Carol Caldwell, Programming coordinator for the GHW Center reported that the day's events included a Tai Chi demonstration, led by Retired Nurse Pat Ray, which has been taking place at the Center as part of the Fine Food and Fitness sessions, in a partnership with International Paper Foundation. A Zumba demonstration invited all to join. The Columbus County DREAM Center provided on-site rapid HIV testing and at-home tests were given out. "There were many gifts and promotional items given out, including umbrellas, COVID tests, and much more," she said.

In addition to providing the use of her land for parking, Ms. Wanda Campbell Clay donated four bicycles and various vendors contributed other desirable gifts to be raffled off as door prizes. The popular DJ from Radio Coast 97.3, Sammie Figgs, kept the party rolling with his great tunes and excellent emceeing.

"Another strong partner that helped make this a success was the Bladen County Sheriff's Department provided three hours of assisted parking with two of their Officers," reported GHW Center Project Superintendent Ocie Jones, "They did a great job, and we owe them a big vote of thanks."

"Thanks must go to Stephanie Miller of Columbus Regional Health, and to Selena Rowell of the Columbus County Partnership for Children," added Marie Campbell. "With their help, the Health Fair brought life-changing services to our area."

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