By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Hudson High School (HHS) held its annual Health Fair in its gym March 13. Health-related vendor tables were set up around the perimeter of the room to include a wide array of agencies and clubs. Some of these included Schimmer Reiki Practitioner, Energy Healer, Angel and Tarot Card Reader, Americans with Disabilities Committee of Hudson, Boost Fitness, Chiropractor Richard R. Waller Jr., local hospitals, the Hudson Police Department, Melanoma Foundation, Good Samaritans, H.H.S. Gay Straight Alliance, Students Against Drunk Driving, Early Childhood Education, nurses and authors.
The Health and Wellness educators and nurses have organized this annual event for many years and always receive a positive response from both the students and staff.
“Starting as a new teacher here a few years ago where this Health Fair had been an ongoing event, I became a part of it,” wellness teacher Jon LeSage said. “It’s been a really nice experience for me and it’s something that is very well received. It’s so beneficial for the students in this community.”
One vendor table from 15-40 Connection, based in Westborough, emphasized early cancer detection and the importance of being aware of your body and paying attention to any changes. There are many students in the high school that participate in this club.
“We empower our youth and give them the skills to enable them to talk to their doctors,” said Education and Event Manager Alex Holden. “We go to other high schools and colleges and bring in young cancer survivors to speak. Our audiences can relate better to someone of their own age that got through a difficult situation.”
Many of the vendors had giveaways, such as bags, pens, keychains and magnets, for students visiting their tables.
Dr. Richard R. Waller Jr., a chiropractor, had a model of a spine and encouraged students to try their grip at the dynamometer, which measures grip strength and can be an indicator of an issue with the neck.
Dee Grassey, a HHS wellness teacher, could not emphasize enough the importance of wearing sunscreen.
“Skin cancer is one of the leading causes of death,” she said. “I understand the importance of reading, writing and arithmetic but without your health, how are you going to become that architect or teacher?”
“Our goal is to provide HHS students with current health-related information and agencies that are available to maintain and promote their personal wellness. In addition, this event supplies the students with exposure to health related career pathways,” said Jeannie Graffeo, health and wellness coordinator and family and consumer science teacher.
Principal Brian K. Reagan is also thankful to the Wellness Department for putting together and executing this annual event.
“These topics are all so relevant for our kids and it’s great to expose them to all of the different vendors. Our teachers also take time to send the kids down here so they also see the value,” he said.