Fair focuses on wellness

Dustin Godfrey

There was something for everyone at a fair focused on being fit at any age in Penticton on Saturday.

The Healthy Living Fair, an annual event, took place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

"It's nice to see people of all ages out and asking questions about what can I do to get healthy," said organizer Kirby Layng, with City Centre Health and Fitness.

The event was initially focused more on seniors, offering testing stations for blood pressure, etc. before growing to encompass much more.

In the last few years it has opened up to families and youth as well, always with free admission so no one is restricted from attending.

Among the many offerings, Saturday, were information on the city of Penticton's recreation department, mental health, diabetes, foot care, dealing with addiction and stopping smoking.

Anita Bains, with the city's MEND program, which stands for mind, exercise, nutrition and do it, said the fair was an opportunity to meet with parents and talk about the free program and what it offers.

Nearby, representatives from the Survivorship dragon boat team, comprised of breast cancer survivors, promoted awareness. 

"Part of our team mandate is to promote awareness of breast cancer and all aspects of that," said Sharon Hickey. "And we are also providing information to those recently diagnosed with breast cancer."

Volunteer opportunities were the focus at the South Okanagan Similkameen Volunteer Centre booth.

Sandy Bergum, with the centre, said they are always looking for volunteers and to match people up with nonprofits that have needs.

Penticton library representatives were on hand to provide information about the books they have on healthy living from stress reduction to dealing with depression.

At the Pathways Addictions Resource Centre booth people were invited to learn about a new program being launched called OASIS, Older Adults Sharing Information on Substance Abuse.

"We are sharing information on our new program today, with a lot having to do with taking your medication and those kind of things," said director Daryl Meyers. "We are also sharing information on the work Pathways does in the community, to educate the public on all kinds of issues."

There were a number of guest speakers sharing information, and the YES project launched its fundraising campaign at the fair.

"This is the official launch of our campaign for the youth resource centre," said Amberlee Erdmann, the coordinator for the project. "And the purpose is to raise money to build the centre in Penticton."

She added the fair was a perfect place to launch the campaign with the youth resource centre being all about promoting healthy living and wellness for young people.

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