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Photos: Families come together at Coolidge Health and Wellness Fair

Inaugural event showcases local resources from local organizations

LANSING, Ill. (April 16, 2023) – Families roamed the halls of Coolidge Elementary School on Friday, April 14, at the first-ever Health and Wellness Fair hosted by the school. Dozens of local businesses, churches, community organizations and other services lined the halls and offered free giveaways and information. The event was the fruit of a collaboration between Coolidge Principal Pam Hodgson, Coolidge PTA representative Erica Spencer, and Human Relations Commissioner Valerie McDaniels.

Health and Wellness
From left: Valerie McDaniels, Pam Hodgson, and Erica Spencer worked together to organize the Health and Wellness Fair. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Andrew Harootunian represented the Lansing Public Library at the event, interacting with kids at the sensory table. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Health and Wellness
Walgreens is a natural fit for a Health and Wellness Fair, and since Lansing resident Jen Arnold (center) works there, she staffed the table, joined by her family. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Health and Wellness
In addition to information tables, the Health and Wellness event provided a play area for kids, stocked with games and crafts. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Health and Wellness
In the multi-purpose room, kids had opportunities to interact with a snake, a tortoise, and this baby crocodile. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A future Coolidge student peers into the eyes of a coyote at the Cook County Forest Preserves table. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Common Ground
Village Trustee Brian Hardy and his wife Kathy are advocates of the Common Ground program, which equips people to build relationships as an antidote to racism. The Hardy’s are partnered with a Black couple, and they meet monthly for dinner and healthy conversation. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Health and Wellness
After 8 p.m., vendors packed up their giveaways and headed out into the evening. From left: Darvel Stinson (Human Relations Commission), Barb Dust (HRC and Common Ground), Kathy Hardy (Common Ground), and Melanie Jongsma (Common Ground) — feeling the joy of a successful event — haul crates of literature and displays back to their cars in the Coolidge parking lot. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Coolidge Principal Hodgson remarked after the event that she was pleased with the turnout — of vendors as well as families. For future events, she said, she’d like to find a way to highlight the workshops and classes that were available simultaneously with other attractions, in order to allow more people to attend.

Coolidge Elementary School is located at 17845 Henry Street in Lansing, Illinois.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.