By Justin Busby
Whatcom’s first ever Health & Wellness Fair was hosted in the Pavilion’s gym and team rooms during the late morning and early afternoon on Wed. March 8.
The fair featured over a dozen info tables designed to educate students with visual aids and details on a wide variety of well-being topics like CPR, STD’s, and health insurance. Volunteers at these booths also opened up conversations with Whatcom students and supplied students with health care advice, disaster preparation, even safe contact numbers for potential emergencies.
“Educate the students on the different options for basically all their holistic health, mental health, physical, emotional.” Pavilion coordinator Mary Schroeder said about the goals for the fair.
VP of student services Luca Lewis approached Schroeder with the idea back in November and together along with Margaret Vlahos from counseling and the rest of committee they created an event that doesn’t just focus on physical health but also on mental health and the well-being of students with organizations like M.A.D – H.O.P.E: Suicide Prevention and National Alliance on Mental Illness booths, as well as stress management discussions.
The fair also provided workshops in the fitness studios and team room focusing on engaging the students face-to-face on topics all the way from addiction to financial aid and budgeting. Yoga and dancing 101 sessions were also held in the studios to get students moving and their heart rate up, my favorite was the Wii Bowling.
“Basically give those tools and resources in the community for health, finances, safety, all sorts of different topics.”
Bellingham police officer Dante Alexander was a part of the workshops conducting an active shooter information seminar in the team room, helping people learn how to react to a potentially life-threatening incidents and advocating preparedness with the “Run, Hide, Fight” program, a mind-set that Alexander says can be used in other dangerous or life-threatening events, like earthquakes, fires, and collapsing buildings.
“Rarely are we good about making decisions when it’s fear-based, but if we have a plan and we practice it and think it out a little bit, that can really help us in a situation like an active shooter or violent intruder where seconds matter.”
“The Announcer” was the master of ceremonies and students earned a free baked potato with toppings after getting signed off at six different booths. The program was sponsored by PeaceHealth, The Programming and Diversity Board, and The Associated Students of Whatcom Community College.