By Gabriela Saldivia
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
LANSING- Tuesday Feb. 12 , Lansing Community College hosted their eighth annual health fair with 17 organizations from all over Ingham County.
Organizations set up tables that lined the halls of the second floor of the Gannon Building, creating a bustling scene out of what is normally just a hallway.
Ingham County Health Department, LCC counseling center, Walmart vision testing and Allen Neighborhood Center all had tables at the event. Many offered free services like rapid testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and gave away products and resources like smoothies and chair massages.
This was a change from the previous year according to event organizer Ivy Tagger. Tagger is the lead kinesiology faculty for the kinesiology program at LCC. She has organized the event for eight years.
“There were a lot of opportunities for students, community members, faculty, staff or whomever to really think about their health and what areas they need to work on,” Tagger said. “And they had the experts right there to talk to.”
Tagger said that this event is important because of the current state of people’s health.
“This gives people the chance to think about, ‘okay I might need to take charge on certain areas of my life. I can talk to people who are already an expert in this field and get advice and get ideas on how to get started taking more control over these things’,” Tagger said.
Michigan State University nursing students took blood pressure and answered questions about stress management. They also worked at the table for the national bone marrow registry, educating and encouraging people to sign up to be donors.
About 60 people signed up to be on the registry, according to Eric Trosko, a recruiter from the Be The Match foundation. He said this is a record number of sign ups for a health fair and was pleased with the signups.
“Usually people come to health fairs to get something, not give something,” Trosko said. “So to have this amount of people sign up is neat, I’m thrilled with how well the MSU nursing students did engaging people.”
Trosko said he has been coming to the LCC Health fair for about six years, but that this year had the highest number of signups.
“It’s a lot of young people taking a big brave step and signing up,” Trosko said.” And some of them will be called up to donate marrow and save someones life down the road. It just says a lot about the LCC students and community members.”
A community event of this scale is made possible by the office of student life at LCC.
Al Nowak, director of student life, tries to engage students and community members through events like this. He said the budget to fund these events comes from his office.
“We don’t have a student fee at the college, so our department has a budget we operate in on an annual basis.” Nowak said. “So we disseminate that within the student organizations and operational costs.”
Expenses for this event included flyers, posters, and parking validation. Overall, Nowak said this is less expensive than other events his office plans to do later this semester.
Upcoming events include a series for Black History Month including a performance by an actress who portrays Harriet Tubman and an event called Taste of History for the anniversary of the emancipation proclamation, serving foods that have historical meaning. Nowak said LCC has invited juniors and seniors from local public high schools to these events.
“I think if we can plant seeds, get people thinking and get people to embrace culture, it’s a way to give back to the students and community,” Nowak said.
According to Nowak, their budget is around $40,000 per year for the whole college. He said this is “not a whole lot per student,” but they try their best to create and bring events that impact a larger group of people.
“I think if we can build a community here and get groups to organize and do things together we can go a lot farther,” Nowak said. “Financially I think it’s a good learning opportunity for students here because that’s what business have to do, it’s a real-life lesson of learning how to share resources.”