The Village Fair was an idea that was born seven years ago as the result of a survey conducted by Healthy Communities/Healthy People, according to Soldotna City Councilwoman Jane Stein.
"Many people responded to the survey saying they had a need for a service that they said wasn't available locally, when actually it was, but they just didn't know about it. So we started discussing how we could get information out to the public. The hospital had the Health Fair going, so we joined them and extended it by showing what else was available in the community by bringing other non-profits and health service organizations and people with activities aimed at helping people," said Stein.
The event has become so successful that it is being used as a model for fairs being organized in Russia through the cooperation of Rotary International.
This year's event was strategically planned to optimize the entire lower level at the school, with booths throughout the hallways, and health fair services like blood testing utilized separate classrooms, "It alleviated a lot of congestion in the gym and gave folks more time to visit the other vendors without the crowd pressure," said Stan Stedman of Bridges.
While there was no official count of how many attended the event, Bridges sold over $1,000 worth of raffle tickets for their quilt, and it's estimated that the attendance was equal to or greater than last year. There were more vendors and booths than ever before with 82 participants in his year's Fair.
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