Maria Marquez winces as a nurse administers a flu shot during a health fair at Mesa Middle School, Friday evening (Emily Russo Miller Photo).
Schoolchildren came out in droves to trick-or-treat and enjoy free popcorn and cotton candy in the gymnasium of Mesa Middle School Friday night. The event was not a belated Halloween festivity, but the 3rd annual health fair.
The event, hosted by the Pecos branch of Foresters, an international insurance and investment group, featured more than 15 booths doling out free flu shots, blood pressure readings, condoms, pregnancy tests, and brochures about general health and nutrition information. Foresters donated most of the health resources, including the door prizes and food.
â€œI just feel that it makes people aware about nutrition and just general information on how to be healthy and stay that way and raise healthy kids,â€â€ˆKarin Maimellow, treasurer of Foresters Pecos, said.
Jackie Delara, the organizer of the fair, said she appreciates all the donations from the group.
â€œWe all need as much as we can get in this economy,â€ Delara said.
Tobosa Developmental Services, Wings for L.I.F.E., Los Pasitos Learning Center, ENMU-Râ€ˆhealth department, and the Chaves County Public Health Division were just some of the groups manning booths. Even the U.S. Army and the Roswell Fire Department were there.
â€œKids like the handouts,â€â€ˆChris Gutierrez, assistant fire marshal, said, referring to the plastic fire badges and candy. â€œBut parents like the information.â€ Gutierrez was passing out pamphlets about winter fires and fire safety and how to say no to drugs.
While kids skipped down the aisles playing ring toss or getting fake tattoos, parents perused the booths for more information about his or her childâ€™s health. Marie Medina, whose son attends the middle school, said she was surprised to learn about the different health initiatives in town.
â€œI wasnâ€™t aware of all the different programs here inâ€ˆRoswell,â€ Medina said. â€œAnd they have good games and gifts for kids.â€