Washington Elementary hosts Family Wellness Night
BESSEMER - Area families attended the 10th annual Family Wellness Night at Washington Elementary on Tuesday evening.
The event is mostly organized by physical education teacher, Janet Hellman.
"I think everybody is enjoying it," said Hellman at the event.
Balloons provided by Aspirus Grand View Hospital and Dr. Micheal Gregor Family Dental filled the gymnasium.
Head teacher at Washington Elementary, Diana Hansen, said there were many families out for the event, including many new faces.
Tables filled the gymnasium, with booths showing the dangers of smoking and drinking, rowing machines, games and more.
Dep. Brandon Lyons, of the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department was handing out Junior Sheriff's badges, suckers and information. He also had goggles for kids to try on which show what it looks like one someone is disoriented or intoxicated.
Lyons said he has been attending the event for six or seven years and enjoys it.
"It's really a great event," he said.
Michigan State Police Community Service Tpr. Jerry Mazurek was on hand to administer the EZ Child ID card and CD program, and the line at his table was non-stop.
Mazurek took each child's fingerprints, pictures and information which were then saved on a CD. The cards and CDs come in handy if something happens to a child, and provide all necessary information to law enforcement officials when needed.
The Michigan State University Extension Office was offering hand- and face-painting-featuring fruit and vegetable characters. The extension also provided a healthy snack taste test, with samples of green peppers, carrots, kiwi and cantaloupe.
Other booths included Matrella Fitness & Nutrition, Massage by Brenda (Harville), Mattson Family Chiropractic and Dr. Michael Gregor Family Dental.
There were also booths featuring activities, like coloring and food pyramid Bingo.
Angel Harvey attended the event with her two young daughters. Harvey said the girls really liked the balloons and matching foods in Bingo, and she liked a recipe book she picked up at the MSU extension table.
Hellman said high school students, members of the Key Club and National Honor Society, helped set up the event and run games.
The event is always talked about the next day at school, which is a really good thing, she said. "They like to talk about it and share what it is like," Hellman said.
Hellman said the students recently completed the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart event, which she has participated in for 18 years.
The week she runs the event, students do some jumping activity each day in physical education class and try to raise donations.
"I'm always proud of them," Hellman said of the students.
Hellman also does a "Most Unique Snowman" contest each year to gets kids outside during the winter.
This year's winner was brother and sister team, Ben and Amber Kaurala.
As a prize, the siblings will receive a bag of sports balls and other outdoor toys, such as jump ropes.
Hellman said she is always trying to get kids to be active at home, and doing the snowman challenge does just that.
"You've got to get these kids outside," she said.
Hellman also said the kids participate in a rowing machine challenge soon, in which students use the rowing machines to play a fish game.
In May, students in third through sixth grade compete, with a top rower chosen from each class. The overall winner among the four students wins a prize for their entire class. In that past, Hellman has given winners sports balls and ice cream bars, but she isn't sure what she'll offer this year.
Hellman said she hopes to keep doing the Family Wellness Night as well as the school-based challenges to encourage kids to be active and healthy.