Haddonfield connected its community with health resources and providers through its inaugural Haddonfield Health and Wellness Festival on May 6, a year after its original date.
“I think the best part about that is that we really were able to tackle every kind of issue and health concern and presentative strategy, from literally maternal health and infancy all the way through care for our geriatric residents, older adults and even those considering hospice care or considering how to safely and confidently age in place in their later years,” said Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich, one of the event’s organizers.
The festival took place on Kings Highway, and included free live fitness programs offered by local businesses.Though vision screenings were unable to be offered this year, there were screenings for blood sugar, blood pressure, skin cancer, adult dental issues and BMI-related checks offered by health professionals at no cost.
Attendees were also able to receive acupressure, soft-tissue evaluation and massage and balance, coordination and occupational therapy for children and infants from local businesses that volunteered these services.
There were also representatives in attendance from Jefferson, Cooper and Virtua hospitals and the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services, and guests could get flu shots, COVID boosters and a vaccine evaluation.
The sensory zone originally planned for Library Point was moved to Kings Court and offered an opportunity for guests to create flower bouquets from donated floral arrangements with the Haddonfield nonprofit Forget Me Knot.
“It was a dream come true in my mind, because everything created with Leona (Davis, founder of Forget Me Knot) went to hospital patients,” said the mayor. “That for me is full circle.
“We’re literally offering a therapeutic activity for people, and the result of that therapy is artistic and it’s also going to brighten someone else’s day.”
The Health and Wellness Festival was part of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, a statewide annual health initiative that offers tools and strategies for mayors and community leaders to help residents achieve healthier lifestyles, according to the campaign website.
“The feedback we had was really wonderful,” Bianco Bezich noted. “ … This was something new and different and it was a wonderful setting in our downtown.”
The campaign will continue with a summer seminar focused on safe family vacations and activities.