Wellness fair attracts nearly 400

Karon Parrish
Editor-in-chief
Wellness Fair Winners
Robin Logan Mary Foster
Yvette Anderson Laressa Tibb
Amber Smith Calvin Davis Jr.
Eugene Laressa Tubbs
Monica Strickland Gemma Gibson
Nathan Howell Julie Grogg
Mona Anthony Meisha Roberts
Tracy White Stephanie McKee
Yvette Binns Nancy Tappe
Angela Murry Dexter Smith
Cassidy Herring Lisa Higgins
Erin Gwatney Maesha Colston
Margaret Ridgell Allison Vanhook
Andy Guyant Memory Frazer
Meredith Sipes Scott Carpino
Martha Forrester Jennifer Winfield
DeMarcus Wilson
Lauren Reynolds Juana Comancho
Corey Beene Justin Smith
Sandy Pope Meredith Sipes
Keitha Trimble Melissa McGee
Mitchel Lincoln Morris Knight
Steven Carter Mayea Johnson
Steve Etheridge April Smith

   In the more than 20 years since its humble beginning the University of Arkansas-Monticello Wellness Fair has become an annual event. The fair drew almost 400 students, staff and faculty March 9.

   It started with the former student health nurse Classie Jones who held a small health fair for students. After Jones left, Julie Gentry, Intramural director took over the planning of the event. When UAM hired Terri Richardson, RN, she became Gentry’s co-chair. The two now work with a committee comprised of faculty and staff from Counseling, Testing and Career services, Gateway Student Support, school of education and the division of nursing.

   Laura Hughes, director of Counseling, Testing and Career services, was instrumental in obtaining a mini grant from the Arkansas Drug Free Youth program from the State of Arkansas. The grant provided funds to pay for the Wellness T-shirts and programs that cost money for the university to provide. Gentry appreciated Hughes' work.

   “Without the grant it would have been a good fair but with the extra funding it was great,” Gentry said.

   The number of guests is hard to keep up with since so many students fail to register.

   “We actually had 395 registered guests and not everyone registers so there was probably more in attendance,” Gentry said.

   Guests could participate in drawings at any one of the 25 booths. Area businesses, university organizations and state agencies provided free cholesterol, diabetes, hearing and body mass index screenings. 

   Most booths were decorated with balloons, colorful backgrounds and attractive pamphlets to entice guests to participate. The division of nursing had student nurses asking guests to feel the simulated breasts to find three lumps.

   “It is very hard to know exactly what a lump can feel like in a breast. The true anatomy of a breast is lumpy. So, by feeling of a simulated breast people are able to know what a significant lump feels like, it is easier to recognize a lump,” senior nursing major Amanda Rogers said.

Photo by Katy Murray
Beer goggles -- Arkansas State Troopers offered a drunk driver simulation at the Wellness Fair March 9. Trooper Morris Knight rode along as Ronald Gregory drove a golf cart around an obstacle course while wearing special goggles which make the wearer feel inebriated.

    Men should also examine the simulated breasts. 

    “Men can also have breast cancer too so it is important for them to examine the lumps. There have been men who have been able to detect changes in their partner’s breast too,” Rogers said.

   Though most students already know the dangers of driving drunk, some still fail to heed the warnings. The Arkansas State Police in cooperation with Farm Bureau Insurance attempted to drive these messages home with its Virtual Intoxication Program, held in front of the University Center in conjunction with the Wellness Fair.

   Students donned "drunk goggles" and did their best to pilot a golf cart around an obstacle-laden course. To complicate things, Arkansas State Trooper Morris Knight rode shotgun and tried to confuse the driver.

   The crowd laughed hysterically as the driver did appear to be wobbling and could not keep from knocking over the obstacle cones. Some students were still wobbling after taking off the goggles in an attempt to regain their composure.

   While many of the events were fun and provided an escape from class stresses, the real issue surrounding the fair was to promote healthy living. Guests were encouraged to seek medical attention if their medical screening did not fair well.

    Gentry, Richardson and their committee thanked the community, university organizations and the administration for another well organized and attended Wellness Fair. Plans are already underway for next year’s fair.

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© The Voice, 2005
Revised 050311 — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_15/fair.htm