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Caring about health

Cinnaminson Middle School fair promotes wellness

With support from the Cinnaminson Municipal Alliance and its education association, a new organization was formed in December 2022 to promote healthy living – CinnaCares.

The group held its first major event on June 3, a health and wellness fair at Cinnaminson Middle School.

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“We are brand new,” said Kim Mauroff, a member of CinnaCares and coordinator of the municipal alliance. “Our goal is building ‘the beloved community,’ as envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

That means – in the civil rights leader’s words – “a community that includes diversity and allows for tension undergirded by love and leading to transformation.”

“To do so, we must truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” King said. “We must change.”

Mauroff, an educational support professional, said CinnaCares has been meeting monthly and will make efforts to increase membership.

“This is our first event; it is very exciting,” she said, adding that its purpose is to promote healthy living and educate individuals on how to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.

The fair featured health screenings; fitness classes; financial health and wellness workshops; information tables along the hallway, including for the high school’s Home and School Association; the county health department; and the sheriff’s department, as well as vendors who offer health and wellness services.

Outside in the middle school’s courtyard, drummers from Folkloric Heritage not only kept the beat but offered youngsters and adults a chance to not only dance, but learn about other cultures.

“This is great,” said Cinnaminson High sophomores Lilianna Occhiuzzo and Evellyn Souza-Silva, who were displaying their dance moves with poet Carmen Gonzalez. “They introduce other cultures with drums.”

In the school’s auditorium, members of CinnaCares conducted a workshop on being trauma informed.

“This is a philosophy that believes that everyone comes with trauma in their lives, and that we need to treat each other with empathy and kindness,” Mauroff explained.

If a student comes to school depressed, she added, it is better for the educator to react positively by softly asking “How are you?” instead of “What’s wrong?”

As for what people learned at the fair, Willinette Scott of Burlington Township, pointed out how important it is for people to gain knowledge about health and wellness. The founder and CEO of Sunset Wellness, she offered information about ways everyone can take better care of their feet.

The fair was considered a success, thanks to Mauroff and the group’s volunteers, as well as helpers from Cinnaminson High.

“We hope it will be the first of many events to make our town even a better place to live,” Mauroff said.

For information, go to cinnacares.org.


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