Smoking is gross!
Erika Enriquez and Katelyn Etienne come face to face with the consequences of cigarette smoke as they view a blackened lung and a jar of nicotine and tar residue.

HOHENFELS, Germany -- Curious crowds thronged the Hohenfels Community Activities Center to explore the wide variety of services available to them on post as presented at the 2011 Community Health and Safety Fair, Sept. 16.

What began years ago as an event strictly focused on physical health and safety has expanded into a community wide exhibition of resources.

"We are trying to promote health in everything we do in our daily lives," explained fair coordinator, Adrianna Mitchell. "That includes overall physical health, emotional, even financial health. We tried to bring everybody from the community here, so it's like one-stop shopping."

Representatives from virtually every organization on base were on hand to answer questions, provide demonstrations, and educate the community to exactly what it is they can offer.

The Army Substance Abuse Program's booth included a computer program that calculated the length of time various alcoholic drinks stay in an individual's system based on their sex and weight.

"For example, it would take more than seven hours for a 125 pound woman to fully and completely metabolize the alcohol from just one strawberry margarita, till she's back at 0.00," explained ASAP assistant Sabine Hanson.

The health clinic shared a display of a healthy lung next to a lung blackened by cigarette smoke, and the Red Cross brought in several CPR manikins to allow visitors to experience chest-compression only CPR.

The fire department provided tips on fire safety in the home, while AAFES conducted a bicycle safety demonstration.

Various organizations offered employment opportunities, financial advice, and even automobile maintenance tips.

"A lot of people come here and they don't know what they have available to them in terms of resources," said Mitchell. "We wanted to make sure we reached not just the active duty Soldiers, but also their families, including the kids."

Students from the Hohenfels Elementary School explored the various booths while seeking answers to a scavenger hunt. Tasks included finding out how old one has to be to open a savings account, learning how often they should have their teeth cleaned, and discovering what activities they can participate in at the Outdoor Recreation Center.

"We brought the kids over to allow them the opportunity to identify what's available in the community for them," said 6th grade teacher Sarah Utter. "CYSS, arts and crafts, anything that they might have an interest in, that can spark their creativity or their growth is provided."

Mitchell is the perfect advocate for learning what the community has to offer. Having arrived in Hohenfels less than two ago, setting up the fair was an eye-opening experience for her.

"I learned a lot about this community. I didn't realize how many different resources that Hohenfels had. I thought we had to outreach a lot to Grafenwoehr, and we actually don't," she said. "We have everything we need inside our own community."

Page last updated Thu September 29th, 2011 at 08:39