By Samantha Solliday

    Family members young and old gathered Saturday to pick up some tips about health and wellness and have fun doing it.

    Killeen ISD’s Family Fitness and Wellness Fair at the Killeen Special Events Center provided a variety of bouncy house, food demonstrations and health screenings.

    “This is a free event that has something for everyone here,” said Angenet Wilkerson, Killeen ISD Community Relations Director. “We wanted to engage all family members, from young to old.”

    The event is part of the School Health Advisory Committee, SHAC, a school district appointed community group that advises district leaders on health and wellness policies.

    The 15-member committee worked since February gathering sponsors, activities and vendors for the event.

    “We have about 50 vendors here,” said Wilkerson, “and we have about 40 student volunteers that are assisting. We are hoping to have about 4,000 people come out today.”

    Volunteers distributed gifts and young participants participated in a vendor scavenger hunt that could win their school $500.

    Retired teacher and volunteer Elizabeth Robinson was excited to see families joining in on the fun.

    “I am so impressed,” she said. “It is going so great. It is so well organized and attended.”

    Vendor and Ellison High School swim coach Kathleen Patterson spoke with parents and students about water safety, and promoted the Ellison swim team.

    “I thought this would be a great way to promote the swim team,” she said. “Everyone can enjoy swimming. It’s a low impact sport that has so many great benefits. Today has been great.”

    Wilkerson wants to focus on not just physical health, but mental and emotional health as well.

    “While physical health is a big part of what the SHAC does, we also want to help the whole child, whole school and whole community,” she said.

    “All of those things contribute to the success of our students. Healthy children are active children, and active children are learning children.”

    “This is a huge venue,” said Nicole Koenen, Killeen ISD Wellness Specialist, “and they have managed to fill it up. I love the atmosphere. People are dancing and smiling and seem to be having a good time.”

    Ellison High School sophomore and volunteer Ashlyn Salfiti was helping out with the bouncy obstacle course and was enjoying meeting other student volunteers from the district.

    “I have had a really fun time today,” she said. “I have been able to interact with other people and businesses from the community. This has been a great experience.”

    April 14, 2018

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