Health Fair Draws People from Gadsden and Leon Counties
By Keytron Hill
The North Florida Fair Grounds was filled with members of the Maranatha Seven Day Adventist (SDA) Church, the family of Ernie Sims and guests from all over Tallahassee to express the importance of fitness and health at the Sixth Annual Southside Community Health and fitness fair.
With just weeks before the opening of Sims’ Gym, “The Ernie Sims Big Hit performance facility,” the FSU alumnus and Dallas Cowboys linebacker found it important to come out and celebrate his love for fitness.
“We want to give our support to the community and really focus on health, make sure everybody is doing everything possible to live healthy lives,” Sims added. “I’m opening the performance facility because I want to help young athletes achieve their athletic goals and help adults achieve there overall health goals.”
Sims father, Ernie Sims II was in attendance with Sims’ son, Ernie Sims IV spending quality grandson-grandfather time. The elder Sims said, “The greatest accomplishment in my book is to impact people from the heart and I think Ernie’s accomplishments out in the community are much more important than his accomplishments out on the field.”
Sims wasn’t the only one giving. The Maranatha SDA Church loaded paper bags with canned foods and non-perishable items for the community to take for free. Shirts were given out with health awareness tips broadcasted across the front and the back. Tables were set with information from different organizations in the community in attendance to compliment the topic of the day, health.
Daisy Cousins decided to bring her blender and juicing recipes to give the community her rendition of a healthy meal. Cousins blended bananas, collard greens and stevia sweetener together for visitors to try what she called “The Green Smoothie.”
“We know that the African-American community is at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes, and a lot of things happen in the kitchen such as bad eating habits. We hope we can share this with the community and let them know that you can eat more healthy and tasty,” said Cousins.
Two tables down was the March of Dimes, an organization that helps mothers have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threatens the health of babies.
Marjorie Stroman expressed why it was important for her organization to be in attendance, Stroman said “Statistics for Gadsden County and for Leon County as far as infant mortality are a little high and we are trying to get that number down, so that all the people that do have kids can have kids that actually be alive, there are too many kids dying at birth.”
Pastor Leonard Newton of Maranatha SDA Church was very pleased with the turn out and explained the purpose of conducting the health fairs for the past six years.
“This is an event where we are just trying to give back to the community. As a church we believe, because the bible says the body is a temple, the only way we can live long lasting lives is if we take care of the body God has given us. So we have different events to try and educate the people in the community on how they can treat their bodies better,” said Newton.