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First wellness fair successful

Children and families had one last opportunity for free activities, entertainment, food and wellness tips Tuesday during the Community Wellness Fair at the Ironton Farmers Market Tuesday before heading back to school next week.

The event was the first and a collaboration between the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO WIC program, the Family Medical Centers, the Lawrence County and Ironton City Health Departments and other organizations including Ironton aLive, Ironton in Bloom, Friends of Ironton and the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

“We wanted to feature two things from a health standpoint,” Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO, said. “It’s National Health Center Week and it’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.”

During National Breastfeeding month, WIC joins professional health organizations around the world to raise awareness of the many benefits of breastfeeding, strengthen support for breastfeeding and advance strategies that that protect and encourage breastfeeding. In Lawrence County, the WIC program works from the Lawrence County One Stop as well as the Chesapeake clinic.

For National Health Center Week, the Family Medical Centers, along with other health centers throughout the country, focus on special populations who are often left out of the mainstream healthcare systems. The Family Medical Centers operate from six clinical sites in Lawrence County.

The event included various wellness and health screening programs underneath the Farmers Market cover and in the WIC RV, three wellness walks with focuses on children, seniors and working people, free food and drinks, informational vendors, a presentation of flags with the National Anthem and a welcome from the mayor before leading into the Glockner Summer Concert Series with live music by City Heat. The Splash Park was open and inflatables were also set up for children’s enjoyment.

Kline said the event was planned a few weeks ago, but is going to be an annual event in collaboration with National Breastfeeding Month and National Health Center Week.

“In order to help raise awareness, all of our groups came together to give one last kickoff before the kids start school,” Kline said. “It’s about raising awareness, but it’s also a celebration to congratulate the kids.”