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Good information shared at Health and Safety Fair

By Staff | Nov 7, 2011

Although not as many people attended the fifth annual Health and Safety Fair Saturday afternoon as organizers expected, those who attended received a wealth of information.

“I wish we had a larger turnout,” Heart & Soul Massage Therapy Day Spa Office Manger Debbie Fasenmyer said, adding the fair went well.

Everyone who attended seemed pleased with the networking opportunities that were available, she said.

“We had a lot of good information,” Fasenmyer said. “It was a good thing for them.”

For the first time since the fair’s inception, those who attended had the opportunity to taste healthy alternatives that are available at all of the hospital cafeterias through the Fresh Harvest program. Aalmon, along with a few sides, were prepared and served for attendees to try.

In addition, those who attended also could taste a slice a pizza from I Ragazzi Pizza when they made a suggested $1 donation. All of the proceeds will be donated to three former Mariner High School graduates who were injured in the line of duty while serving our country.

“The slice of pizza went really well,” Fasenmyer said about the jar that was full of dollar bills.

A volunteer with the Lee Memorial Health System Military Support Program was present to provide individuals with the opportunity to sign a Christmas card to send to the troops, along with providing information about what they offer for serving military men and women and homeless veterans.

Eleanor Cafaro said they will send out 55 Christmas care packages on Nov. 29 to the troops, which will include the signed cards from the event.

She was encouraged to became a part of the program about three years ago because she comes from a military family.

“This is where God has brought me,” Cafaro said about why she began volunteering.

Representatives from the Lee County Elections Office and Lee Memorial Blood Center also had activity at their tables. A few individuals registered to vote and a few donated blood during the fair.

One of the tables that grabbed a lot of attention during the fair was one that had drug paraphernalia on display to show parents what to look for in case they believe their child is using. Many individuals were surprised when Sgt. Allan Kolak with the Cape Coral Police Department unscrewed the bottom end of a highlighter and revealed a pipe to use for drugs or a storage department inside of a soda can.

“Everyone is surprised,” he said about the paraphernalia, which unfortunately can be found in smoke shops around town.

Kolak said it was important to bring marijuana and inhalant paraphernalia with him to the fair to show parents, so they know what to look for.

“There is not a whole lot we can do to stop parents from using, but we can reach out before kids start using,” he said.

Kolak said they constantly go out and find what new innovative items individuals are using for drugs, so they can continue to educate parents and others about what is being used.

The fight against drugs is becoming more of an epidemic, he said because of prescription painkillers that are easily accessible. Kolak said prescription painkillers have surpassed cocaine and heroin use combined.

“It is extremely easy to find these drugs,” he said about the increase in prescription drug use that began in the early 2000s.

Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida Executive Director Deborah Comella said she thought Saturday morning went really well because a lot of parents attended with questions ready to be asked about keeping their kids away from drugs and tackling drug addictions.

“I am pleased to be a part of this and show people what prevention there is in Lee County,” she said. “I am happy to give them the tools to do that.”

Some of the new literature that she brought with her this year dealt with prescription drugs and the harms and affects it can have on an individual.

Other information that Comella shared dealt with waking someone up if they find them sleeping when drinking and drugs are involved. She said the message is especially important for young adults and college students.

“Don’t assume that they are safe,” she said because you may not know how much they consumed.

The fair was sponsored by Heart & Soul and the Wellness Center of Cape Coral.