One such local group is 100 Black Men of Bradley County Inc. whose membership for years has embraced four key components: Mentoring, Education, Health and Wellness, and Economic Empowerment.
Health and Wellness is the most recent addition. It became part of the group’s vision five years ago with the establishment of the 100 BMBC Community Health Fair. The sixth annual event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bradley Square Mall near the main stage. It is free to the public.
It is an important undertaking with significant parameters because it reaches out to the entire Cleveland and Bradley County community.
Co-chaired by Jonathan Porter, the 100 BMBC’s immediate past president, and group member Oscar Kelley, who also serves as secretary for the Bradley County Election Commission, the health fair opens it arms to all races, ages, genders, cultures and ethnicities.
Porter said it best when he told our newspaper, “This is a Community Health Fair. That’s why we hold it at the Bradley Square Mall because it’s easily accessible to all residents. Health affects everyone, not just minority groups.”
This mindset points to the importance of 100 BMBC and its members’ value to all who call the Cleveland and Bradley County community their home. The group’s outreach is blind to race, to age, to gender and to ethnicity, and this is why the annual health fair has averaged from 700 to 1,400 visitors each year during its first five years.
We see no changes this year unless it is one marking increased participation, both by visitors and by health care providers and vendors in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Booth fee is only $35. For those wishing to confirm their plans, it is not too late. Representatives wishing to host booths may contact Porter (423-596-0740) or Kelley (423-479-6271) as late as the morning of the busy event.
Types of screenings or information expected to be available Saturday include asthma/spirometry, blood pressure, breast model, bone scan, cigarette smoking, circulation exam, dental exam, health mini-lecture, HIV/AIDS screening, mental health, nutrition education, prostate model, vision and hearing screening, and weight management. Even more booths could be confirmed by the day of the health fair.
We agree with Porter’s assessment of the importance of the health fair and why local residents should plan to attend.
“This is an opportunity for health care providers and other medical and pharmaceutical industry representatives to present health information, and for the public to take advantage of a variety of screenings. It is an effort to help participants possibly identify health care concerns and aid in reducing health care disparities.”
The latter comment speaks volumes. It is why area residents should plan to participate, especially those who do not regularly visit a family physician or those whose family lineage includes factors like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and cancer, among a variety of other life-threatening illnesses.
While perusing the many booths and talking with the medical professionals, visitors also will be entertained by the miraculous energy of youth. Scheduled to perform on stage will be a couple of dance teams, one hailing from Cleveland Middle School and the other from the Northeast Recreation Center.
We urge full family participation.
And we thank 100 Black Men of Bradley County for once again taking the lead in organizing a people event whose aim is community and whose focus is our future.