Spring Training Open House and HealthFest 2016 offers free activities for families
A free event focused on fun, staying healthy and remaining safe will incorporate Minnesota Twins baseball players and Lee Memorial Health System later this month as a way to celebrate Spring Training and Lee Memorial’s 100th anniversary.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, the Minnesota Twins will kick off the opening of Spring Training with its annual Spring Training Open House in conjunction with Lee Memorial Health System HeatlhFest 2016. The event will be held at CenturyLink Sports Complex Hammond Stadium, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy.
“Last year we had an Open House. I wanted to do something that was a little different,” Mark Weber, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club Manager of Florida Business Operations said. “Partnering with Lee Memorial is important. Doing this open house and health fair gives people the opportunity to come down and enjoy the stadium and see what their health is.”
Lee Memorial Health System Community Affairs Director Karen Krieger said HealthFest 2016 is the health fair of the century because Lee Memorial is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
“The opportunity to provide service to our community through the HealthFest and to enjoy the open house is exactly how we want to celebrate our anniversary. We are very excited,” she said.
Since the Twins pitchers and catchers report to the field on Feb. 21 to kick off Spring Training, Weber said a clinic will be held for the youth. The youngsters will have the opportunity to work with some of the players on the field, as well as Lee County native and coach Tommy Watson, who helps lead the club’s clinic initiatives every Saturday in a different community.
Two of the players attendees will be able to meet are Twins 2015 Pitcher of the Year Kyle Gibson and All-Star Closer Glen Perkins.
The interaction, he said will give the youth exposure of the Lee County stadium.
“Not everyone gets to get down on a big league field and Spring Training field,” Weber said. “We want to make sure the people of Lee County understand that the stadium is ours and make sure they have access to it.”
He said it’s all about making it a fun day for families while also showcasing the renovations and upgrades the stadium has undergone. Last year a $48 million renovation took place to incorporate shaded areas. This year a shade structure was added on the boardwalk on the left field line.
“Fans can watch the game and have shade,” Weber said. “It’s an additional enhancement to give the fans a greater experience of coming to the park and watching practices and Spring Training.”
In addition to the sport related activities, Lee Memorial will also offer an array of activities for youth and adults to partake in regarding their health.
For the first time, Lee Memorial Health System will have medical inflatables available for the community to learn more about the brain and heart. A physician will accompany both inflatables for those who may have questions.
“They are so big, individual’s will be able to walk through them,” Krieger said, adding the inflatables offer a perfect opportunity for education. “It will be wonderful for children to learn and adults alike.”
Attendees can also tour a natal intensive care ambulance, Emergency Medical Services, fire truck and medical transport helicopter.
Safety sessions will be set up for children and parents to learn more about concussions and how to remain safe while participating in sports.
Lee Memorial’s Outreach Team will be in attendance providing health screenings and education. The array includes sleep assessments, driving simulation, balance screening, and blood pressure screenings. In addition, attendees can meet with Lee Physician Group doctors, and obtain material on such subjects as CPR and First Aid, early heart attack information, diabetes and weight management, asthma and COPD.
Kreiger said information on more than 20 services will be provided, which also includes personnel from the orthopedic department, Wellness Center and cardiac rehab center.
“There will be an opportunity for everyone to learn something, have a medical screening, have fun on the field and meet some of the players of the Twins. I think it’s going to be a very nice day,” Kreiger said. “It’s all about good health of the community, making good choices and celebrating 100 years.”
Make sure to also stop by the concession stands for snacks and refreshments, which includes healthy options for half price.
Individuals can also register to win a stay at ‘Tween Water Inn, gift certificates and other prizes during the event.
For more information, visit www.leememorial.org, or call (239) 343-4801.
Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.