Saturday, Oct. 26, Shady Grove will host the 22nd health fair with dozens of educational tables and a range of free health screens. Church choirs will be singing in the sanctuary and free food will be served in the fellowship hall.
“We’re really trying to do something worthwhile for our community,” organizer Phyllis Highland said of the health fair that was first held in 1998.
“At that time, (then) Pastor Edward White wanted an outreach ministry at the church and I wanted to lead it. I felt a calling,” Highland said. “The Lord planted a seed to do a health fair, but no one was doing anything like that. We didn’t know how or what to do.”
With a grant from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, the first health fair—held in January—was up and running. It was so successful, the church decided to conduct another one that fall—ultimately settling on the fall date for future fairs.
And, as she noted, Highland still sticks with the original plan.
The fair offers free blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, vision and hearing, HIV, peripheral arterial disease screenings, and information from various medical, civic and educational organizations.
“These are screenings many people would normally have to pay for if they went to the doctor,” Highland said. “This helps them monitor their health and learn what steps they may need to take.
But there’s also the fellowship part of the fair—people who come each year and see others who do the same, she added. “Some of those who attend just enjoy listening to the music ministries, seeing and talking with people—it’s important for them to get out and interact.”
The fair is held rain or shine at the church on Route 677 off Monrovia Road (stay left of Henry’s Store), about 10 miles from the Town of Orange. Those who need a ride to the fair are encouraged to call 672-2996.