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Health Coalition to sponsor event in Perham

Perhaps the two most widely discussed health concerns are diet and exercise. These issues are featured in the media, heard on "talk shows" and they even are the theme for the popular TV show, "The Biggest Loser".

There are seemingly hundreds of diet or exercise programs, each promising great results if we buy their products. Which ones can we trust?

In order to provide quality information and demonstrate safe, effective exercise options, the East Otter Tail health coalition will sponsor a wellness event at the Perham Area Community Center (PACC) on Saturday, March 15. The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m.

The sponsoring group consists of the American Cancer Society, Perham Memorial Hospital and Home, and the Perham Community Center. Chairperson Robianne Schultz explains, "We have chosen the theme 'Because We Care...A Nutrition and Wellness Event for All Ages'. It's not really a health fair. Instead we have enlisted knowledgeable speakers, demonstrators, interactive exhibits, and quality information for the day." Early on, the group established guidelines for the event: It will be free to the public; all presentations and exhibits are provided by non-profit health related organizations. Also, they selected dynamic professionals as presenters. If possible, all exhibits should be interactive and hands-on.

Each partner has a role to play for the event. PMHH representative Sue Von Ruden says, "We have arranged for Dr. Cathy Breedon to be our featured speaker. We will also provide presentations by our nutritionists, physical therapist, and chiropractic. We will have at least two booths relating to health and diet."

Kevin Nelson, PACC director, describes their role: "We will provide the space, equipment and expertise to make the event run smoothly. We also will have our instructors demonstrating exercise programs for people of all ages." ACS volunteer Ruth Cole adds, "I believe we have 14 exhibitors right now - all of them health related non-profits - each with a particular subject: diabetes, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma - and others."

PMHH education director Marnie Ammons reminds us of other activities; she says, "We will feature massages, health and exercise related drawing prizes - at every one of our meetings it seems we find something new and valuable to add to our event." She continues, "This all began when we came together to sponsor The Great American Smokeout' in November. We enjoyed doing it and felt it served the needs of our communities. We hope to expand our coalition and take advantage of other opportunities that promote good, healthy living."

The date the group chose for their event was deliberate. Spring will almost be here, a time when people want to get ready for the summer by becoming more fit and looking better. Join them on March 15.