Nursing student Josh Petcoff, right, has his shoulder worked on by massage therapy student Carolynn Irish.
More than 100 people from the area participated today in the Sylvania Franciscan Village’s first wellness fair which spread the message that self health is just as important as caring for family, the community, and Earth.
Sister Janet Doyle stood in the middle of the Franciscan Center watching as participating organizations in the Social Wellness area shared information with those who attended the Well, Wise, and Whole A Wellness Fair.
She initiated the wellness fair, an effort of the Sisters of St. Francis, Lourdes University, and Sylvania Franciscan Health, known together as the Sylvania Franciscan Village. The fair is part of an initiative to promote a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle and positive community.
“There are many dimensions of wellness and social is one,” Sister Doyle said. “Pet therapy and going to the zoo. This is important to get people out of the house.”
Near her stood two calm and friendly dogs. Kelly, a golden retriever, visits libraries in the Toledo area where school children read to her.
“You see the children improve their reading skills,” said Nancy Hamilton, a volunteer handler with the local chapter of Therapy Dogs International. “Dogs don’t judge. And the students are not nervous about making a mistake."
Kelly’s counterpart Connor, an English cocker spaniel, comforts the sick at area hospitals.
“When we visit a hospital he knows who is not feeling well, and tries to comfort them,” Marcia Peters, also a volunteer handler, said.
Near the Toledo Zoo’s petting display, Olivia Keller, 3, and her sister Josephine, 5, were checking out the live snake, the Australian crocodile head, and an Australian wallaby pelt.
The Toledo Zoo also talked to the children about the endangered snow leopard.
“We are telling the children that they live in the Himalayas and that there are only a few left,” Karen Farrell, Toledo Zoo education program assistant, said.
The Keller sisters, who came with their father Terry from Petersburg Mich., said the activities were the favorite part of the fair.
Olivia crafted a bird feeder out of a toilet paper roll and honey. Josephine jumped on the hopscotch rug that pointed to the gym where others played Nintendo Wii and the backyard bean bag toss game.
Across the room were environmentally-friendly pamphlets on composting, and treating nature’s pollinators, such as bees, with care.
As part of the physical wellness section, ProMedica Hospital used cubes of sugar to give attendees a visual example of how much sugar was consumed in a serving of sliced peaches in syrup, yogurt, and dried fruit.
“People were shocked when they saw twelve cubes of sugar are in a 1/3 cup of Ocean Spray Craisins,” Kinsy McNambe, a dietitian with ProMedica Wellness, said. ProMedica also provided visitors with an idea of what ideal dinner portions should look like.
Nearby was Kathy Daley, who talked about suicide prevention and what signs to look for.
“It’s a difficult topic to talk about, but people are open to learning more about it,” she said.
Speakers also discussed eye health care, and ways to improve the community in the center’s board room. More than 60 businesses and community organizations attended the event about physical, social, spiritual, emotional, and environmental wellness.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.