University of Maine Campus Recreation hosted its second annual Community Health and Wellness fair this past Monday, Oct. 26. The event was held in the New Balance Student Recreation Center. The fair was free for all UMaine students, faculty and staff, and open to the community, as well.
Nearly 25 different organizations participated in this year’s fair. Some of the organizations present included the Nutrition Club, UMaine Campus Recreation and the Counseling Center. All the organizations were demonstrating the many different components of health and wellness.
Some organizations were displaying the more physical side of wellness by giving out massages by donation, and handing out pamphlets on topics such as portion control and nutrition advice. Another handful of organizations were displaying the more mental side of wellness by handing out materials such as ways to destress.
“We had about 25 organizations. We’d like to have more. It’s only our second year, so as the fair becomes more successful, we’re hoping to have more and more people come in,” Kristie Deschesne, the associate director of programming for UMaine Campus Recreation, as well as the head of the planning committee for the Health and Wellness fair, said.
Assistant Director for Fitness, Caitlin Caserta, stressed the importance of keeping an open mind when it comes to thinking about wellness.
“I think that our goal is always just to promote wellness and all the aspects of it that seem to be forgotten. Sometimes we only think of wellness as fitness and nutrition, and it’s so much more than that,” Caserta said. “So it’s great bringing other vendors in that can open people’s eyes to the other areas and give people support, help, or show them different things/places to reach out to if need be.”
In only its second year, the Health and Wellness fair made an impression on the UMaine community.
“I’d say we doubled our attendance. We had a table from the [University of Maine System] office and they were working with University of Maine faculty and staff on a very specific thing, and they felt like they talked to about 300 people. And that’s just faculty and staff,” Deschesne said.
“We had people that haven’t even stepped foot into the Rec Center before, and that’s always a good thing,” Caserta said.
The Health and Wellness Fair is an annual event put on by Campus Recreation and plans to return next year.
“I hope that the Wellness fair can grow. I hope that we see more of the campus community attending and actively engaging in the fair, and get more vendors from the community and the campus community,” Caserta said.