I just got back from our Senior Health Fair in beautiful St. Louis. The event was sponsored by Rx Outreach, The Gateway Region YMCA, and the United Way of Greater St. Louis . I was one of the folks working the sign-in desk; we had over 150 visitors throughout the day. From my perspective, they seemed like they all had a great time!
I am a remote VISTA living in Chicago, so I don’t often get to hang out with my coworkers. Being with my team and meeting other Rx Outreach folks was super fun. One I’d like to mention is Avery Mitchell, Executive Assistant extraordinaire. What a great woman! You can tell from the first meeting that this lady has a real heart because she was such a natural at making folks feel welcome. She is the Executive Assistant for Julie Erickson, President/CEO of Rx Outreach. I asked Avery if she liked working at Rx Outreach, and she said OH yes! She had never worked with someone with such high energy and loved keeping up with Julie’s busy schedule! I thought, Wow! Just another reason to love Rx Outreach.
Anyway, back to the Senior Health Fair. First is the venue. If you ever have a chance to check out the health center in O’Fallon Park Rec Complex, in Saint Louis, you will be amazed. It is a beautiful building. They have basketball courts, exercise rooms, and meeting space. True to their mission of being a place for mind and spirit, they are much more than a gymnasium. They focus on promoting well-being and strengthening the community.
Many local organizations at the event showcased services for the community, such as a food pantry, long-term care, nurse association, youth family center, the Lupus Foundation of America, and more! So many organizations in the area are ready, willing, and able to help those in need. If anything in this world is getting me down, I think about that experience. Meeting those folks and seeing how much they want to provide services makes my heart sing.
Basic health screenings were also featured, and a cooking class and exercise class. The exercise class was taught by our fantastic intern Cathyrn, a Master’s Student from Logan University. If you ever get a chance to take one of her classes, go for it! She makes it so fun and knows her stuff!
There was also a heart-healthy cooking demonstration. We learned how to make vegetarian chili, zoodles with tomato sauce, and a delicious, colorful salad. I thought this was a brilliant addition to the day as people want to learn easy, plant-based, healthy options. The conversation between the speaker and the seniors was lively and educational. I’m sure many will be trying these! I also appreciated that they emphasized ingredients that you can get anywhere.
Then there was the main attraction! Own Your Now show hosts Yolonda Lankford and Tracie Berry-McGhee. OWN Your NOW is a morning talk show platform for women to be inspired, uplifted, and empowered to define the moment! Focusing on everyday positivity, they have guests and showcase community leaders. They talked about working together to start the show amid the pandemic. They radiate love and positivity. The rest of the learners and I were enthralled. The fact is, I am just a huge fan girl! I can’t even be professional about it. These ladies are the best! Their message is to support each other, and it was apparent that everyone in the audience felt the same.
It was a great day!
Well, that’s the story from this VISTA! Stay tuned. We have many more exciting stories in the works.