Jeff Hall draws blood Saturday from Roxie Miles at the 30th annual 9News Health Fair. Hall, a Rocky Vista University student, was drawing blood for a blood chemistry test, part of the various tests available at the health fair.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Jeff Hall draws blood Saturday from Roxie Miles at the 30th annual 9News Health Fair. Hall, a Rocky Vista University student, was drawing blood for a blood chemistry test, part of the various tests available at the health fair.

9News Health Fair draws large crowd

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Missy Showalter, of Craig, gets her blood glucose tested by Amy Knights Saturday at the 9News Health Fair held at Sunset Elementary School. The yearly event was sponsored by the Craig Lions Club.

With a few minutes until the doors opened Saturday at Sunset Elementary School for the 30th annual 9News Health Fair, a line already was forming.

The type of line that stretched from the school across the street.

The school was full of people Saturday morning for the Health Fair, which was sponsored by the Craig Lions Club.

Stan Fox was one of those people.

"Just went through, had everything," he said after coming out of the cafeteria where blood screenings were performed.

The best part of the Health Fair for Fox?

"Standing right here," he said, pointing to the end of the line. "We stood in line for almost an hour and a half.

"But, it wasn't bad. I saw a lot of people, so it was an annual gathering, you might say."

While the crowd moved toward the cafeteria, volunteers Michael Lausin and Ray Talkington stood at the ready.

Talkington and Lausin had been doing everything from fetching water bottles for anyone drawing blood to holding their place in line if they needed to step out for anything.

Even with the long line, Lausin said he thought numbers were down this year, compared to other years.

"I think it's a bit lower this year," said Lausin. "It's starting to clear out, and normally, around 10:30 or 11 it starts filling back up again."

The two men were busy Saturday.

"We've gone through 22 cases of bottled water since we opened the doors," Lausin said. "We're still moving along."

Because Steamboat Springs has replaced the 9News Health Fair, a large number of the visitors were from Routt County, Talkington said.

"I've seen people from Steamboat and Hayden, so they've added to the turnout," Talkington said. "It's a good regional event."

The other regional health fairs could be what cut back on the numbers, Lausin said.

"They've already had health fairs in Baggs (Wyo.) and Meeker, so it might have affected us here a bit," he said.

The senior blood draw, which was held Thursday, was so popular this year, it might have taken away from the health fair, Lausin said.

"They said there were 179 blood draws on Thursday," Lausin said.

Medical students from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine assisted during the blood draw, which Lausin said might have helped with the numbers.

"People are coming in, and getting out a little faster this year," he said.

Lions Club volunteer Al Shepherd said he thought the numbers were in line with what they normally were.

"It's been steady," Shepherd said. "We're staying open an extra hour so we can get in all the people from Routt County."

All of the people standing in line were waiting to have blood drawn for a blood chemistry test. The test reveals more than 30 indicators, such as good and bad cholesterol.

Talkington said at $30, the tests were a bargain.

"People are getting $150 blood screenings for $30," Talkington said. "You could say it's a deal."

Lausin said the tests offered people a list to take to their doctors.

"People like coming to the health fair because it's almost free of cost, and it's an inexpensive way to get health care," he said. "It's a good way to get a yearly health check - I'm not saying people shouldn't go and see their doctors and have a physical - but it's a good way to get screened for a lot of different things."

And for Lausin, who stopped to say hello to anyone new to the line, the fair was a chance to get out and socialize,

"It's a big social event," Lausin said. "It's the first time I've seen some of these people since this time last year."

Kathy Powell has made several trips to the health fair.

"I get my blood work checked every year since I've been here," Powell said.

For Mamie Reece, who was having her blood drawn, the second try was the charm.

"I had to be stuck twice with the needle, because the first time it fell out," she said.

Mamie and her husband Mike Reece were at the health fair for the first time.

"Our doctor recommended we get the blood screenings," Mike Reece said. "We'll probably come back next year."

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