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25th Health Fair Draws Large Crowds

More than 1,100 people had visited the Tuolumne County Healthy Fair today at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora by 10 a.m. this morning, and organizers of the annual event were very pleased.

Standing at the registration desk, Martha J. Cover with the hospital auxiliary said she was very surprised with the amount of people coming through the line and how smoothly things were going so far.

This is the 25th year the Tuolumne County Health Fair has been presented. Last year more than 2,400 attended the fair, Cover recalled. “I would assume it will be better than that this year, since we are at 1,167 already this morning.”

She said she knew of at least one person who hade came all the way from the Los Angeles for the event. “We´ve had people here from Texas this morning, too,” she said.

Cover said people come to the Health Fair for a variety of reasons.”Basically, they come for their blood tests. Lots of people are interested in their collesterol and many have asked about thyroid testing this morning.”

For Tuolumne City resident Pat Garrside, it´s a time to get the health screenings, meet old friends and have a chance to do some socializing. “I´ve been coming to the Health Fair for years and years,” Garrside said. “It´s a good deal and a real social event. I really enjoy it.”

There was one test she was interested in getting this morning. “The blood panel is what I´m most interested in,” she admitted. “And the food. Then I´ll just go and browse around, meet my neighbors and see what else looks interesting.”

Numerous information booths are set up in all the buildings at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds, such as the two hospitals, County Environmental Health, the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society Mountain Women´s Resource Center and Area 12 Agency on Aging. Hearing, vision and bone density testing, plus flu shots are offered as well.

Margarete Johnson has worked at the Planned Parenthood booth at the Health Fair for 10 years. “So my goal is to get out information,” she said. Because it a mostly older crowd at the fair, Johnson targets the grandparents. “So many of them are concerned on how their children are getting their sexual education, and we have some good, basic material. So I´m here to do that.”

The health fair continues through Wednesday and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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