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Volunteers make the difference at 9Health Fair

Saturday’s 9Health Fair was brought to our community by a host of volunteers, and the community needs to understand something of the scope of that effort.

There are those who spend hours planning the event led by LaQuita Johnson, site coordinator; others spend the entire morning on duty from 7 a.m. to noon; others run around Pagosa delivering and picking up, and still others set up and tear down the rooms used at the Pagosa Springs High School.

On the medical side, local professionals donate their time and skills in a variety of medical screenings. Altogether, it takes about 200 individuals to pull the event off successfully.

Of all these folks, there is one family — the Case Family — which deserves special note. Bob and Peggy Case and then, later, daughter Robin Ball have been stalwarts. Their involvement goes back some 20 years. Peggy’s duty is to see that her team knows where everything is and keeps attendees moving smoothly through the maze of screenings. Bob, with the help of Robin, is responsible for the hundreds of vials of blood which must be centrifuged and sent on to Quest Laboratory. This is, indeed, a family with a mission to whom the community owes a big thank you.

This year for the first time, the health fair included six young Pagosa Springs High School students with interest in health care occupations. They are members of the association Health Occupation Students of America sponsored by Cindy Nobles who also teaches a related class. Eli Velasquez, Santino Lister, Daryn Butler, Denise Espinosa, Alix Herrera and Joe Onello were everywhere, observing, helping and asking questions.

9Health Fair has been supporting free and low-cost health screening and education for 31 years in communities across Colorado, and in Pagosa Springs, amazingly, for 30 years. Our community’s presence at the inception, almost, is an indication that we share the mission of this organization — to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health.