Gray skies and the threat of rain could not keep more than 3,000 people from taking part in the third annual City of Perris Health Fair on April 25.
The large crowd sweated to exercise classes like Zumba and Tabata, underwent health screenings for high-blood pressure, diabetes and body-mass index, munched on healthy snacks, listened to music from Radio Lazer and picked up lots of information about exercising and preparing healthy food options at home. Kids climbed a rock wall and jumped up and down in a bounce house. Everyone stayed around until the end of the fair, when the City raffled off more than 75 new bicycles.
The entire health fair was free and continues the City’s ongoing “Live Well Perris” healthy-eating active-living initiative.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch was more than pleased.
“What a great turnout for a great event,” Busch said. “It is a fantastic day. Our City has always been involved with our community. We’re interested. We care.”
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Tonya Burke led a Zumba class. She said the health fair was a trending topic on social media.
“It’s blowing up! People are talking about it, people are excited about it,” Burke said. “Events like the health fair are important because community engagement is important. Hosting events that residents want shows our commitment to our community.”
Burke and Busch also took part in ceremonies for the Perris Elementary School District’s annual 5-kilomter Fun Run and the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life. Both also were held on the City Hall Campus.
Health screenings took place throughout the City Hall Campus. Aja Noelke, 29, was screened for diabetes. Health is a major concern for her. She suffered a stroke in December.
“I want to take advantage of the opportunities the City of Perris provides its people,” she said. “This City cares about its residents. It helps me help myself.”
Sisters Candy and Wendy Grable screened themselves for diabetes because they want to set good examples for their children. Both praised the City for hosting the health fair.
“This is great because Perris is doing it for its community,” said Wendy Grable. “A lot of people just can’t afford to go to the doctor to get a check-up.”
Candy Grable said screenings “help me be an example for my family.”
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez had his blood-pressure checked during the screenings and talked with several residents and providers as they went about their business. He also took part in Tabata lessons supervised by Perris fitness trainer Laura Sosa.
“The City of Perris is known for its family-friendly events and this is one of our flagship programs,” he said. “I am really excited that this event has become a favorite. People are starting to think about living well.”
Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers called the health-fair turnout “wonderful and fantastic” and praised the cooperation between Perris, the school district and American Cancer Society for partnering to make a memorable day.
“It’s given our residents a chance to support the local elementary school district, learn about how to improve their health and learn about the latest efforts to combat cancer,” she said. “What a wonderful day—all the way around.”
Esbeidy Lomeli took part in a morning workout and came away with a nifty Live Well Perris t-shirt given to all participants. She also had the pleasure of knowing she burned off several hundred calories.
Lomeli is a regular in classes provided by the City and said that regular workouts have helped her tone up and build stamina.
“Thank you for keeping our City healthy,” she said.
City representatives handed out hundreds of giveaway items to health-fair visitors, including water bottles, bags, fans and t-shirts. The entertainment included musical performances and dance routines and a martial arts demonstration. The crowd waited eagerly until the fair ended and the bicycle raffle took place. Mayor Busch and Councilmembers Rodriguez and David Starr Rabb took turns at calling the winning numbers and standing for photos with the lucky kids and adults who took home new bicycles.
Rabb thanked all the people who came out to “show their commitment to healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy community.”
“It’s a beautiful turnout,” he said. “Our City’s commitment is to do everything we can to ensure the best quality-of-health for our residents. As a City Councilman, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that happens.”