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Health and Wellness Fair brings large crowd

Jacqueline Maillet, 341st Force Support Squadron Health and Wellness Center dietician (far left), and Jennifer McMullen, 341st FSS HAWC health promotion manager, show Carla Bernard, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron field scheduler (right center), and Candace Ellsworth, 341st CES engineer, brochures of information about programs the HAWC offers to members on base.  The HAWC was one of several different on-base agencies that attended the Health and Wellness Fair at the fitness center May 29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cortney Paxton)

Jacqueline Maillet, 341st Force Support Squadron Health and Wellness Center dietician (far left), and Jennifer McMullen, 341st FSS HAWC health promotion manager, show Carla Bernard, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron field scheduler (right center), and Candace Ellsworth, 341st CES engineer, brochures of information about programs the HAWC offers to members on base. The HAWC was one of several different on-base agencies that attended the Health and Wellness Fair at the fitness center May 29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cortney Paxton)

Maj. Ingrid Ford, 341st Medical Group health care integrator, and Kirk Clark, 341st Medical Operations Squadron Health and Wellness Center exercise physiologist, talk to Amanda Linebacker, far left, and Morgan Tucker, both Malmstrom dependents, about the HAWC during the Health and Wellness Fair on May 29.  Informational booths, physical fitness activities and free prizes were available for those who attended.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cortney Paxton)

Maj. Ingrid Ford, 341st Medical Group health care integrator, and Kirk Clark, 341st Medical Operations Squadron Health and Wellness Center exercise physiologist, talk to Amanda Linebacker, far left, and Morgan Tucker, both Malmstrom dependents, about the HAWC during the Health and Wellness Fair on May 29. Informational booths, physical fitness activities and free prizes were available for those who attended. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cortney Paxton)

Staff Sgt. Michael Jordan, 341st Force Support Squadron fitness specialist, shoots a basketball as part of the 3-point shootout as others watch during the Health and Wellness Fair on May 29.  Volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, a two-person relay, and sit-up and pushup contests were also held during the event to promote physical activity.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cortney Paxton)

Staff Sgt. Michael Jordan, 341st Force Support Squadron fitness specialist, shoots a basketball as part of the 3-point shootout as others watch during the Health and Wellness Fair on May 29. Volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, a two-person relay, and sit-up and pushup contests were also held during the event to promote physical activity. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cortney Paxton)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- After three years, Malmstrom's Fitness Center held a "new and improved" Health and Wellness Fair for members of Team Malmstrom on May 29.

"We had [a Health and Wellness Fair] in 2010 and it didn't have such a good turnout, but then I said 'well, let's try it again,'" said Senior Airman Miriam Santiago, 341st Force Support Squadron fitness specialist. "We just tried some different things with new people and new ideas and it was a better turnout than the last time. Last time it was based more on events and less on sponsors, and we only had people from on base sponsoring stuff; this year we contacted off-base facilities and had less events going on so that people could concentrate more on sponsors - that's what created the bigger turnout."

The event included several different booths - all related to the physical fitness and health of individuals on base - that educated Airmen, their dependents, Department of Defense civilians and veterans on the various benefits available to them both on base and throughout the Great Falls community. On-base benefits highlighted at the event included the Health and Wellness Center, the 341st Medical Group Clinic, a base Zumba instructor and aerobics personnel. Off-base agencies that attended the event were Pink Gloves Boxing, which is an all-female boxing club, Snap Fitness, the Great Falls Clinic and the Cascade County Health Department.

Each agency had a booth set up and offered free information about their organization and other health-related topics. Members who attended the event were able to take home informational brochures; free water bottles, chap stick, sunscreen and other health items; and were also able to have their glucose levels tested and get a screening for osteoporosis. The event also included information for people who wanted to quit smoking cigarettes. People also had a chance to win prizes.

"If everybody went to each of the tables and got a card initialed by each agency then they were put in for drawings for different prizes," said Katrina Cichosz, 341st FSS commercial sponsorship coordinator. "It's a good way to let our troops know what they have available."

Each organization was included at the fair to promote the well-being of Team Malmstrom members and allow them to browse what's available to them in one place. The fair also included various different sporting events to promote physical activity.

"We had 3-on-3 basketball, a 3-point shootout, a two-person relay race, volleyball, and pushup and sit-up competitions, which had the best turnout of all of the events," Santiago said. "[The purpose] was to promote health and wellness and also to show customers what we have on and off base available for them to work out and stay healthy."

While the Health and Wellness Fair hasn't been an annual event since 2010, Santiago plans to continue it every year from now on. After planning and heading up this year's fair, there were a few things she plans to change for next year.

"There are many things we could do different for next year," she said. "We have more sponsors we could get for next year that are willing to do it. Next year we'll probably have it on a weekend around the same time so that people can sleep in and stuff like that and still come to the event - I think it will bring a better turnout. I'm hoping that people come; it was a great event with a great turnout and hopefully next year it will be better."

Members of Team Malmstrom are encouraged to take advantage of the many different organizations designed to increase their well-being available to them both on- and off-base. While physical fitness is imperative to a healthy lifestyle, it's also plays a big role in being an Airman every day.
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