The weather was perfect for the annual Health Fair & Family Expo with the 5K Bear run and one-mile Wellness Walk on September 10.
Runners gathered around the starting arch waiting for the official and timed start of the 5K. Age groups for the race went from 10 and under to 70 and older. Check in was 8 – 9 a.m. for an entry packet and a T-shirt. There were some people who walked in and signed up on the spot. This year the 5K Bear Run and one-mile Wellness Walk was coordinated by Hermes Cleveland Sports and Events. Nearly 50 runners participated in this year’s 5K, and many did the Wellness walk with Dr. Harpreet Singh, MD, from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. A few folks took advantage of the family walk that was behind the high school, up the hill, by the practice soccer field. It had five activity stations hosted by the NR Elementary and Middle School, Royal Redeemer, St. Albert the Great, and the YMCA. Just before volunteer members of the NRHS choirs gathered below the big NR on the building to sing the National Anthem, Rebekah Kelly, one of the One Mile walkers said, “I just hope everyone knows how wonderful this is.”
At 9 a.m. the volunteer choir began the National Anthem under the direction of Sydney Jannigen. North Royalton High School has three choirs: the Freshman Choir, the Concert Choir, and the Competition and Show Choir that has won a prestigious Superior 5 ranking three times, at the State level. These singers came together just to sing the National Anthem. When the last notes drifted away the runners passed through the Start Arch to begin their computer timed runs. They were led by a motorcycle as they wound around the prescribed course.
In the meantime, there were lots of activities inside the building. The Pancake Breakfast presented by City Council President Paul Marnecheck was underway. Council President thanked his fellow council member, Linda Barath, Ward 2, for taking the first shift in serving the pancakes and sausage.
The breakfast is always a big success. There is nothing like talking to friends across a table. The young ladies from the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Licensed Practical Nurse Program were doing just that. Areatha Jefferson, Natreasha Edwards, Diamond Jackson, Kaitlin Dines, Sade Perkins and Ebony Harris praised the successful health career program that provides training to become a member of a health care team that is always in demand. The young women took their turns at the information table with Nursing supervisor, Pattie Mandula, to answer questions or just say Hi.
The free health screenings offered by the UH Parma Medical Center and Southwest General were always busy. This year Vitalant had a full blood donation center set up. Donors were able to walk up, fill out a donation form at the computers just outside the door and donate a pint of life. Blood donation only takes five or ten minutes, Karen Brennen, a frequent blood donor remarked, “It is something small that I can do that will help another person.
There was a crush of activity at the face painting table where masterful painters transformed young faces into cats or Spiderman look-alikes.
Visitors got a bingo type card that was a guide to visiting all the stations that focused on physical, emotional, mental, nutritional, and recreational aspects of community health, safety, and overall wellness. Elaine Connelly, RN, demonstrated the benefits of magnetic insoles from Nikken. LPN trainees and onlookers were amazed at the very visible results and maybe considered the product. Case Western Reserve Medical School had Associate Professor and Researcher, Jim Spilsbury, and research assistants Kristy Rexrode and Kyle Harris present to explain the Teen Sleep Research project. Sleep can and does impact teen wellness. There were tables for health care information, VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System and Cuyahoga Veteran’s Service Commission aimed specifically for former military and their families regardless of age. There was support for all phases of and many conditions of life.
Animals that need help and that help us were represented. NRPD K9 Officer Bear and his partner, Officer McClintic, were available for questions. Brady’s K9 Fund raised money for safety vests for K9 officers of all sizes. What was started by Brady Snakovsky in 2018, to help Strongsville K9 officer get a ballistic vest has grown to include many K9s from German Shepherds, to Jack Russel Terriers, and Dachshunds that serve all over the country. The specially made vests are expensive, Leah Tornabene, Brady’s mom says, “We have an event on September 23 at Fat Heads Brewery in Middleburg Hts. from 5-9 p.m. It’s K-9 friendly.”
Before we relied on pharmaceuticals we used Essential Oils, herbs, and plants for healing. Mary K. from Essential Oils was on hand and will be doing an activity at the Senior center December 6.
Activity is one thing everyone needs. Robert Soroky from Century Cycles demonstrated how to go on a bicycle road trip without leaving your home. Century Cycles has stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River that sell everything for bicycles and rents them for use in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Cleveland and Medina Metro parks. All the vendors had interesting presentations and information, and all were very generous in providing door prizes for delighted lucky guests who registered for a chance to win.
At 10 a.m., within minutes of crossing the finish line, the 5K runners entered the school and waited for the race results. Nathan and Alyssa Rech did the 5K with son Benjamin in the jogging stroller; he was happy with the banana that he “won.” The Thomas family had three trophy winners, David, Penelope, and Miles; mom Elizabeth happily cheered them all. Rashelle Ansec. who registered for the 5K at 8:30 a.m., took home a trophy. Mother/daughter “team” Kathy and Lauren Zamborsky won in their categories. Loving couple, Terry and Mary Fox, won in their categories for age 70 and up. Marilyn Olson, at an amazing 87 years of age, came in third in her category and was the eldest runner. All of them deserve a round of applause.
A grand prize raffle basket winner was announced at the end of the Expo. Christine Coniglio reported, ”The winner was thrilled! He’s an amazing man, a Browns fan, and one of the NR custodial staff, Scott Matusik.” There is a question of who was more excited about the Browns basket, Scott who received the basket, or everyone else who were just as excited for him. Everyone who attended the Health and Wellness Expo was a winner in one way or another.
Make a note on your calendar for next September. Come again and bring a friend. For complete results on the 5K Bear run you can refer to;perpage:100

Contributing Writer