Three groups to host health fairs in Gainesville

Published: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Health and safety will be common themes around Gainesville on Saturday.

Three organizations will hold events to discuss the importance of health and safety for the whole family.

A Health Empowerment Day will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will offer information on heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, children's health and elderly health.

Free blood pressure checks and diabetes screenings will be offered. Cholesterol blood tests will be available for $10, although the first 25 participants will get them free.

Health prizes, such as diaper bags filled with baby items, food samples from the Eastside High School Culinary Arts Program and free Publix bread and baked goods will be handed out at the event.

Another health-related activity Saturday is the Holistic Health Fair, at United Church of Gainesville, 1705 NW 5th Ave., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Maria Minno, coordinator, said holistic health focuses on maintaining good health, which she says makes the event an excellent resource for people who are not well-insured or have limited health insurance.

Free demonstrations on physical training and dance will be available at the event, as well as health information sessions presented by nonprofit organizations.

For $20, practitioners will provide sample sessions in such disciplines as Reiki, massage therapy, five-element acupuncture and intuitive healing.

Children will be able to participate in a water balloon toss, face painting and yoga.

Those attending are asked to bring a household item or $5, to be donated to Peaceful Paths and the Gainesville Area AIDS Project.

Saturday is also the inaugural Family Fun and Safety Day, sponsored by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

The event, which is aimed to educate children and families about some of the dangers kids face daily, is being held at Butler Plaza (near TGI Friday's) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Law enforcement officials will be discussing stranger danger, child safety seat installation and fire alarm safety. A bounce house, free Domino's pizza, Target gift certificates and free gunlocks will be available.

Parents can have their children finger-printed and issued a Florida identification card free of cost. To receive an ID card, parents must present a certified copy of a child's birth certificate and a Social Security card.

"If the child becomes lost or is kidnapped, that identification is valuable for us in later identifying them," said Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Faulk.

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