‘Walk of Life’ set for mall Sept. 14
by By RICK NORTON Associate Editor
Aug 18, 2013 | 1150 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An organization with a heart for reaching out to area children who can benefit from a guiding hand is again extending its mission to the hearts, and the general health, of entire families.

The “Walk of Life Health Fair,” launched six years ago by 100 Black Men of Bradley County Inc., is returning to the Brad-ley Square Mall on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jonathan Porter and Oscar Kelley, longtime 100 BMBC members who are co-chairing this year’s health fair, are recruiting event sponsors, booth vendors and donors. The duo is also drumming up community awareness about the coming event that is serving as a farewell to summer and a welcome to autumn while encouraging Cleveland and Bradley County families to take ownership of their own well-being.

Free of charge to all area residents, the “Walk of Life” — as has been its tradition since day one — is open to any individuals and families who are ready to take charge of their health. Regardless of race, gender, age, culture or economic background, the 100 BMBC health fair is reaching out to the full community, Porter stressed.

“”The health fair spotlights area healthcare providers and vendors in the medical and pharmaceutical industry,” Kelley cited. “It is also an opportunity to present health information, take advantage of screenings and an effort to help participants possibly identify health concerns and aid in reducing health care disparities. As in years past, all services are provided free to the public.”

The “Walk of Life” is traditionally well-attended, but it requires a lot of work by the local nonprofit whose members recognize the value of their partnership with medical and professional services in retaining the event as an annual service, Porter noted.

“This is no small undertaking and it takes sponsors working in tandem with our organization to accomplish the goals of being of service to our community,” Porter said. “Tax-deductible contributions allow us to provide this service at no cost to those who attend the health fair.”

Donations are used exclusively toward health fair costs; however, in the event that any contributions are not needed toward project expenses, they are transfered into 100 BMBC’s scholarship program. Since its 1994 charter, the local organization has provided more than $500,000 in scholarships to deserving area high school students, Kelley explained.

Porter pointed to the importance of community collaborations with area businesses, medical operations, health care professionals and various vendors that have made the “Walk of Life” so successful. Vendor participation helps to promote health awareness and area residents get the opportunity to do some one-stop shopping and screening in a central location like the mall, he added.

Porter and Kelley stressed those attending the health fair will face no costs. Plus, the event will include heart-healthy refreshments. And, voter registration and education about the election process will again be included in the activities.

Types of screenings and services scheduled to be offered at the the health fair include: blood pressure testing, careers in health care, dental screenings, diabetes education, end-of-life care, fitness education, health education, health insurance options, HIV/AIDS screenings, hospice services, home-health services, massage therapy, nutrition, organ donor information, prescription drug programs, prostate education, senior services and weight management.

Deadline for those wishing to participate as healthcare providers and vendors is Aug. 31. Services, medical professionals and other health-related operations that want to have a presence at the “Walk of Life,” or to obtain further information, may contact either Kelley at 423-479-6271 or Porter at 423-596-0740.

The “Walk of Life” co-chairs pointed out five levels of sponsorships are being offered.

These include:

n Gold Level, $750, which includes inclusion in promotions, a plaque, logo in promotional materials and booth space at the event;

n Silver Level, $500, which includes plaque, logo in promotional materials and booth space at the event;

n Bronze Level, $250, which includes logo in promotional materials and booth space at the event;

n Booth Only, $35, which includes booth space at the event; and

n Donations, which includes acknowledgement of contributions.

Those wishing to provide sponsorships or donations may contact Kelley or Porter for additional information or they may mail checks or money orders payable to: The 100 Black Men of Bradley County Inc., P.O. Box 5677, Cleveland, TN 37320-5677, and the mailing should be sent c/o Mr. Michael Benson, treasurer. It is recommended that mailed checks specify “The Walk of Life Health Fair” in the memo line.

“Six years ago we expanded our mission with the start of the 100 BMBC Health Fair,” Porter said. “This was a way for us to be of service in addressing the health needs and concerns of individuals in our community.”

Questions about 100 BMBC, its mission, and its community and youth services may be directed to 423-284-6602.