The 2013 9Health Fair is now behind us. It's time to congratulate ourselves on another success, take a deep breath and relax...but not for too long. John and Debbie Erwin have been in charge of this important community event for the last twelve years. Many of their key assistants are willing to stay on, and John has agreed to consult with his successor, but John is passing the torch. We need to find out to whom he will be passing that torch.
Before shrugging it off and saying "not me" think what this event means to our community. As a volunteer at this event, I've had many people thank me for being there and tell me that this is the only medical attention they get all year. We've all had that happen, again and again. Without the 9Health Fair, many of our neighbors would have no opportunity to talk with a doctor, get a vision test or benefit from all the other health screenings.
We Lions are a fortunate bunch overall. We need someone who is willing to share some of their time with our friends and neighbors to step up and take over the 9Health Fair. There is lots of work, but the rewards for that work are beyond price. Just ask John Erwin.
Here's a note from John Erwin to all our volunteers.
To: Our Hundreds of Wonderful Volunteers
The 9HealthFair is the best of the best when it comes to a Community event. Simply put, it would not exist without community support. Whether you volunteered this past Saturday or at some time in the past, you played a role in helping your neighbors get information they can use to manage their health. Do we give them ALL the information they need. Of course not, we give them what they can use in concert with a health care professional and in many cases we have suggested they do just that. Many of your completed surveys that list how many of the screenings lead to a suggestion of further evaluation. People with low pulse Oximetry readings or high/low blood pressure had the opportunity to talk to a health care professional before they left the blood draw area.
We have been doing this fair for 12 years and during that time, we have seen very healthy growth not only in the number of attendees but also in the number of services offered. During that time, we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work. The services we offer are more professional now then they were years ago - our all volunteer staff is far more experienced.
Debbie and I just want to say a very sincere thanks to each of you for supporting us. Our only goal has been to offer something to the members of our community that they may never get anywhere else. Many of our customers have no insurance, do not routinely go to see a doctor or dentist or podiatrist or eye care professional until something is so wrong, they cannot avoid it. Others just find the ability to track their own health year to year to be information that is "nice to have" and it is worth the low cost. You should take away the fact that the donation of your time and effort as a team has saved lives, and has enabled hundreds of people to take control of their own health. Over the years, we can only hope that people who were given test results that say "you have high cholesterol" have done something about it to bring their numbers down. And in so doing, they may save / lengthen their own life. What we do in the 9HealthFair is empower people and you should be very proud of your contribution to this effort.
We could not have done what we have done over the prior 12 years without you and we can only ask that you continue to do so whether we are there or not. WE are not the 9HealthFair - YOU ARE! The two of us would have a rather rough time serving 300, 400 or even 700 people as we did one year. WE cannot thank you enough for making us look good in the eyes of our customers. Please keep up the great work.
I do want to single out just a few folks for special thank you's:
Bob and Jan Boynton - on our Management team - they had all the food ready for you in the early AM and put on the luncheon - they were always there helping me with consultation on complex issues and financial planning.
Glenn and Sharon McCoy - on our Management team, they are our logistics managers who got everything TO the school, get the school setup for the fair, and then put it all away for next year. They "quietly" worked in the background to raise $2000 in grants to support our advertising needs on radio, TV and newspaper. If you didn't see or hear a Fraser 9HealthFair Ad, you must have been up in one of the Grand Huts for the past 4 weeks.
Mikee Tennant, Mary Bonville and Jen Merten - collecting blood is not easy, leading 15-18 people collecting blood is very complex and requires wonderful people skills and great management skills. These gals never failed to knock my socks off with their professionalism and leadership skills.
Kent and Jancie Hughes - whatever I needed - they were there - great leaders in their own right and wonderful partners in managing the past 12 fairs.
MIchael Niederhauser and Kimberly Penny - Members of the 9HF Management Team in Denver and great problem solvers - you may have met them on Saturday. But you did not see the scores of emails they responded to during the planning phase of the fair. Edith Thompson and Beth Brady helped us learn the ropes for the Family Fair routine - always helpful and supportive and we would have been at a total loss without them. They are just a small part of a wonderful team in Denver who bring it all together, get us our supplies and help in every way to make it happen.
Wonderul Docs and Health Care Professionals like Hannah Foley, Annette Rothman, Randi Wagner, Mike Muftic, Steve Huang, Mark Chua, Paul Voegeli, Kathy Sawada, Pat Barry and Jeff Lepke who give up their "day off" to be with you - year after year, after year.
To the Grand County EMS and Mr. Ray Jennings who have supported us in many different ways and always was there to lend a supportive hand. If you saw all the ambulances parked in the parking lot, you knew they were there and many of them (like Audrey Jennings) always volunteer to help with blood draw.
And to Donna and Keri, Mary and Daniel at Fraser Elementary who quietly work behind the scenes and enable us to use their school for such a large event.
Some wonderful local businesses and people like the Winter Park Resort and Grand Mountain Bank who have supported us every year for the past 12 years - thanks for being there to help the 9HealthFair grow and prosper with your support. To some wonderfully generous folks like Lorr Quinn and Barbara Belknap and new sponsors like Kristy Meyer/Beaver Village Condos and Stacey Rosacci with The Salon - thank you for your generous donations.
And finally, to the gal I married some 43 years ago who puts up with a dining room table full of name tags, posters learning against the fireplace, a banner strung out in our garage, and piles of printed materials, tubs of supplies, etc., etc., She was my partner in this endeavor - not so much by choice, but she was always there helping me look good despite the mess I made of the house. It was a fun ride.
The Fraser River Valley Lions Club is the primary sponsor of the Fraser 9HealthFair. Our community and I owe them a huge debt of thanks for always being there for their community in so many ways - the 9HealthFair is just one visible aspect of their support. Over 1/2 of the volunteers you saw on saturday were Lions volunteers. The Lions Club and its new leader, President Jerry Nissen, now face the task of finding and training new leadership for the Fraser 9HealthFair. We will be here to help that new team prepare for the 2014 fair and learn how to do it the right way. We can only ask that you give them your full support as they transition to become the new Fraser management team.
It has been a real honor for us to work with you, learn from you, and always look for ways to make it better. I am sorry I could not list every body - but you know you are, you know what you did, and I can only hope, you will be back again next year.
John and Debbie Erwin