Organizers: Health fair draws more vendors, bigger crowds

The fourth annual community Health Fair in Sweet Home drew more people and featured more vendors than last year, organizer Bob Dalton said.

Plus, he said, “We had the audience we’ve been trying to reach.”

He estimated visitor numbers at “400 to 500,” about 100 more than last year.

“This year got 400 hot dogs and we served 340,” he said, noting that “a big hats-off” goes to Thriftway, which donated the food.

Vendor participation was up about 15 percent over previous years, Dalton said. New this year among the “50-plus” vendors were: Safe Routes to School, which offered a “bicycle rodeo;” Linn-Benton Health Services, which provided discount sports physicals to some 20 athletes; a large group of medical students from COMP-Northwest in Lebanon, who provided Mini Med School and other assistance; free haircuts for 29 people; Qi Gong (tai chi) instruction from Jim Adamik, Dalton said.

“Between inside and outside, we probably had over 60 tables,” he said. “We had a lot more outdoor activity this year, which made it more uplifting, brought energy to the event. The medical students were awesome.”

He said he got “good feedback” from participants, especially vendors, “all” of whom told him they’d be back.

“They said this is the best health fair they had been to,” he said. “They said other cities could learn from us.”