Annual Fort Lewis health fair educates community
February 13, 2009
Professional volunteers throughout the community donated services to introduce the military community to the latest products and services available to enhance health and wellness.
Operation Care Fair - Body Strong, Mind Strong and Spirit Strong, sponsored by the Directorate of Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, drew a crowd of more than 200 Feb. 7 at the American Lake Community Center.
The free services, giveaways and demonstrations offered included body massages, back rubs, body alignments, hair styling, skin-softening treatments, facials, healthy foods and advice for physical fitness.
Jessie Harlley, who learned about the event from her family readiness group, said she had never had a hand massage in paraffin dip (warm wax) before.
"I think it's amazing," she said. "It's been a great experience."
One popular display offered makeup that doesn't wash off.
"This is permanent makeup. It is actually tattooed onto your face," said Tone Benestad, Eternal Cosmetic Enhancement. "I can do an entire face, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow and the other facial makeup in four hours."
Another skin care company, Mobile Skin Care Service, from Kent, offered to bring services to the customer's home. These mobile services included facials, body treatments, eyelash extensions and hair removal.
Peggy Webster, educator for Robin Vance Salon Professional Academy, had eight volunteer student hairdressers and one estician (skin care specialist) there. They were giving spouses free hairdos.
"We teach our students how to do hair, skin and nail care," Webster said.
Another booth introduced everyone to liquid nutrition for the mind, body and spirit.
"Ayurvedic Wisdom is centered around the armalaki fruit, about the size of a golf ball, grown in the base of the Himalayas," said Jerry Coatney, independent executive for Zrii. "It targets the different systems of the body to give you better health and wellness."
Coatney claimed his products promote "immunity and healthy blood sugar, protects brain and liver functions and contain antioxidants."
Some booths also targeted various weight-loss services.
The Jenny Craig representatives held raffles every hour for free, 30-day programs and dining-out guides.
Another booth offered injections the representative said could help people lose 15 to 30 pounds a month.
Karen Witt, marketing director, Wellness at Work and Home, was there to demonstrate safer alternatives to common household products containing carcinogens.
Fort Lewis organizations also had information booths, including Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, the U. S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine and the Fort Lewis Arts and Crafts Shop.
"We have great going-away gifts like framing, laser engraving on marble, picture mouse pads, T-shirts and mugs," said Gloria Rodgers, director, Fort Lewis Arts and Crafts. "We are also letting people know about the Pillowcase Program for children of deployed parents."
The FMWR event included free entertainment throughout the day, such as the five-member Jazz Combo from Pacific Lutheran University, cooking demonstrations, a fashion show, salsa dancing with Isis and Luis and guest speakers.
Healthy food snacks and drinks were provided free of charge.
"This is all about nutrition, health and taking care of yourself," said Mary Wilson, spouse of a military retiree. "It's all about the family, too. It shows how parents can be role models for their children. We can teach them how to live healthier lifestyles. Most of all, this is about people in the community who care, and I think it's just wonderful."
Barbara L. Sellers is a reporter with Fort Lewis' Northwest Guardian.