Monroe County Mayor Holly Raschein with Health to You organizer Denise McLeod during the Feb. 3 health fair in Key Largo. CAROLYN DePAULA/Keys Weekly

Key Largo residents attended the Health To You Wellness Fair on Feb. 3 at Friendship Park south of the Tradewinds Shopping Center in Key Largo. They came by wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, car and by foot, where they met with around 20 community health partners such as Community Health of South Florida, Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition, the Key Largo library, the Florida Department of Health – Monroe County, Feeding South Florida, the University of Miami Sylvester Gamechanger Bus, Keys AHEC and others. 

“People of all ages, from a 90-year-old gentleman to toddlers, attended,” said organizer Denise McLeod, health education program consultant with the Florida Department of Health in the Upper Keys. After a brief presentation, passport/bingo cards were handed out to participants who received a sticker for each booth they visited and interacted with. Monroe County Mayor Holly Raschein attended the health festival and took a bingo card home, saying she had never been on one before.

Visitors strolled along the main pathway of the park, stopping at the booths, with many completing the well-being surveys or receiving blood pressure and glucose screenings, HIV information and take-home screening kits, bike helmet fittings and educational demonstrations. Flu vaccines were also administered by nurse Clarice Strang from the Florida Department of Health, Roth clinic in Tavernier. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Animal Farm came from Key West to entertain children with a variety of animals, including a ferret, an alligator and bunnies. 

The University of Miami Sylvester Gamechanger Bus performed 14 cancer screenings, a good number for Monroe County.

Centennial Bank prepared and served hamburgers and hot dogs while the Key Largo Christian Center at the end of Hibiscus Lane donated an array of delicious desserts for all to enjoy.

Florida Department of Health staff at WIC Monroe booth during the Health to You event at Friendship Park in Key Largo. CONTRIBUTED
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Animal Farm delighted children with some furry friends.CAROLYN DePAULA/Keys Weekly
Carolyn DePaula
Originally hailing from the tropical island paradise of Aruba, Carolyn, now a longtime resident of the Upper Keys, knows the islands and its people quite well. With three kids and a husband who was raised here, she also continues to enjoy the many events the Keys have to offer. Carolyn has always had a passion for language, reading, history and writing, her mom having been an editor and her father a translator. An FIU graduate, Carolyn believes in learning something new each day — preferably while enjoying a large cup of coffee with her dog on her lap.