In late September, the Gladstone Church, in conjunction with the two groups it supports, held its first annual health fair. Thirty-one people attended the fair.

The health fair featured a booth for each of the eight principles of the NEWSTART Program, a lifestyle change program. Guests were able to participate in different activities at each of the booths. Through different health tests, like BMI and lung capacity, guests were able to assess various aspects of their health. Guests were also able to enjoy a free chair massage and snacks.

Throughout the event, there were several giveaways. Prizes included day passes to the local community center, a rice cooker and more. Every participant also received a bag at registration which included free literature and information about the Gladstone Church.

Miguelina Heavener, the Gladstone Church health ministries coordinator, said she believes the event was successful. The church had discussions of a health fair for a year and finalized the idea three months prior to the event date, according to Heavener.

The church invested in reusable signs in both English and Spanish, tents for the booths, as well as other materials which will be used for future health fairs. Heavener estimates $7,000 was spent on the event, with many of the costs being one-time expenses.

Heaver said it was impossible for her to plan or run the event alone and she relied heavily on volunteers.

“Our goal was to recruit 50 volunteers, and we have about 60. So, God has been so good,” Heavener said.

Other ministries besides health ministries assisted in making the event possible, including the women’s ministries department.

Debby Hill, the women’s ministries coordinator, said women’s ministries distributed fliers and invitations in the community about the event. Hill said the health fair was a team effort and women’s ministries was happy to help because they “try to help with everything.”

Heavener said this year’s event has been a learning experience and plans are already starting for next year’s health fair.

“Next year we are planning this event will be double, both in terms of people and booths,” Heavener said.

Benjamin Fainer, pastor for the Gladstone Church, said the church plans on making improvements for next year’s event. This year the event was scheduled during a Kansas City Chiefs game, which they believe caused a smaller turn out. There are other aspects Fainer hopes to improve next year also, but overall Fainer sees the event as a success.

“I think that success to me is seeing all our groups working together,” Fainer said. “I love it. It’s just strengthening our unity, and also providing a service not just for the community, but for our members themselves.”