Friday, June 22, was the 14th annual Santee Health Fair. The wellness center was filled with booths of businesses from all over the area, and some even came from as far as Rapid City.
Outside, there were tons of fun activities including horse rides, a petting zoo, carnival games, bouncy houses and more.
Jodie Henry coordinated this year’s health fair. The goal of the health fair is to teach the community how to be their healthiest selves in a fun and entertaining way.
“It kind of acts as a customer appreciation day as well. We see these families, the kids, their parents and grandparents all throughout the year. It’s our way of showing we appreciate them,” Henry says.
This year’s theme was superheroes, the children were given capes, and some of the businesses dressed up as superheroes as well. The goal was to encourage everyone to be their own superhero and take care of themselves.
According to the sign-in book, there were 178 kids and 180 adults in attendance this year and 38 health booths.
Henry also awarded three winners for top booths. The goal is for the booths to be fun and entertaining in order to grab attention and make learning fun. This year’s third place booth was the Domestic Violence booth, second place was the Heart Program, and winning first was The Office of Environmental Protection.
“It also helps introduce these people to the community, some people don’t know what the Office of Environmental Protection does,” Henry said.
New to the health fair this year was the petting zoo and family yoga. The fair always has fun and exciting things, but there have been new things added every year.
“The whole idea is to raise awareness about health issues,” Henry said.
Each year, there are speakers to help bring awareness to certain issues that need attention. In the past there have been speakers on prescription pill abuse and suicide. This year, there was a strong focus on gun safety.
There was also a gun safety booth so everyone could learn as much as possible about gun safety. They were even handing out gun locks.
The speaker this year was Bobby “Bugotti” Jones. Originally from the area, Jones was on his way to being a professional football player when drugs and alcohol got in his way. He spoke about his personal life and his struggles.
Now Jones is a Christian rapper and motivational speaker and speaks out to many people every year.
“The kids just loved him,” said Henry.