Senior Connection health fair, 5K fundraiser set for Saturday

Published 6:27 pm Monday, January 27, 2014

Chilton County Senior Connection will host its first health fair and 5K run and walk on Saturday, Feb. 1, to raise money for the group’s new facility.

Registration for the run and walk will be held at 8 a.m. at Park Plaza, also known as the Fred’s shopping center in Clanton.

Registration fees are $30 for the run and $10 for the walk, and all participants will receive a T-shirt.

The first 75 people to sign up for the run will also receive a goodie bag.

The 5K will be timed and produced through Chris Bowers from About Time Events of Alabama.

Anyone wanting to sign up for the 5K run or walk before Saturday should call Senior Connection Coordinator Vanessa McKinney at (205) 755-9032.

Proceeds from the 5K will go toward the remaining expenses of renovating and furnishing the group’s new 12,000-square-foot facility in the shopping center.

“We’ve just been running off of donations, but right now, the equipment we need are tables and chairs and exercise equipment,” McKinney said. “That’s a lot of money right there. That’s probably about $4,000-$5,000 that we’ll need.”

Sponsored in part by Southern Care Hospice, the health fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the new facility, which is in the painting phase of the project.

The health fair is free to attend and will include free health screenings, food, live entertainment and door prizes.

“We’ve got 23 vendors so far that will do screenings and have information,” McKinney said. “Admission is free, and everything else is free unless you buy food.”

In addition, Winn-Dixie will offer flu shots for free with a Medicare card or $29 without a Medicare card; Dr. Jon Binkerd with Chilton Surgical Associates and students from Jefferson State Community College will conduct free blood pressure checks; Dr. Stephen Below will offer posture screenings; Edward Jones will offer financial planning advice; and organizations including Cornerstone Fitness and Wellness and Chilton County Physical Therapy will have booths.

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will hold a blood drive from 9 a.m. to noon.

“We need donors for sure,” McKinney said. “They’re running low this time of the year.”

Chilton County High School students performing songs from “Blast from the Past” and Perfect Peach Line Dancers will entertain guests.

Senior Connection will have different soups available for $2 per bowl, and Chad Ellison of Chad’s Lunch Box will have hotdogs for sale at his stand.

Extra 5K T-shirts will be available in various sizes for $10 each.

Although Senior Connection has not received any grants to help fund the new facility, McKinney said donations from local community members have been abundantly generous so far.

“We’re still working on grant funding, but the community has just been awesome,” she said. “We’ve got a long list of people who have given $100 here, $200 there, one personal donation of $2,500. People in the community have just been great.”

More than 30 businesses have donated to Senior Connection for building supplies and equipment.

The new facility is expected to be ready in about two months.

It will have space for features such as a stage, exercise area with equipment, offices, bathrooms, media room, class and health screening room, walking track, sitting area and kitchen.

“We’re in the painting stage,” McKinney said. “We have to lower the ceiling and do the floor, and we have to have a special floor for our exercise area, so that’s quite an expense too.”

Senior Connection meets in the Clanton Recreation Center on Lay Dam Road.

The group consists of about 65-70 active members and 150 total members.

“The main thing we want to do is make the community aware of what we’re doing and what an asset it’s going to be for the senior citizens here,” McKinney said. “It’s going to be a great thing for the community for years to come.”