Wellness Fair, ‘Cards Against Cancer’ Benefit Held In Randolph

To encourage the community to take care of their physical and mental health, Randolph Central School hosted a Wellness Fair in conjunction with its Cards Against Cancer fundraising event. Shown is high school nurse, Samantha Kozlowski taking the blood pressure of Portville student, Kyle Muray. Photo by Deb Everts

RANDOLPH — Randolph Central School recently hosted its Wellness Fair in conjunction with the “Cards Against Cancer” fundraising event, both held annually.

Each year, athletes from all the Randolph sports teams, student council members, Character Counts and National Honor Society members join together to host the fundraiser, now in its sixth year, that includes a spaghetti dinner held in the high school cafeteria, a Chinese auction and a Silent Pie auction, as well as raffle tickets.

Event co-chair Deb Luce said over $3,600 was raised for the Cards Against Cancer cause this year. She said the group has been able to help many families with the funds raised at the benefit, and it would not be possible to do this without the hard work and commitment of Randolph’s students and the generosity and support of the Randolph community.

Luce said all proceeds are put into the Randolph Community Love Fund, which has been established as a financial flow-through conduit through the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation.

In its second year, the annual Wellness Fair was open to the public and free of charge during the Cards Against Cancer fundraiser and the boys basketball game.

Kourtney Almeida, pupil services coordinator, said the Wellness Fair is an event the school administration does for its students and the community. She said since there are so many people coming to the school for the Cards Against Cancer event and basketball game, it makes sense to hold the Wellness Fair during the same time.

“Cafeteria Manager Lori Benson and Deb Luce, teaching assistant, are also part of the group that works on the school’s wellness policies, along with myself,” she said. “From there, we work with Alyssa McCutcheon, school social worker, and Jason Halpainy building principal, in talking about how to bring in the most community members. So, the events must be worthwhile in educating people in the community about health.”

A number of staff members were available to answer questions including school nurses, Brittany Iskula RN, and Samantha Kozlowski LPN, who were taking blood pressures, and School Resource Officer Kale Luce from the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department.

Examples of healthy breakfast and lunch options on display, so parents could see samples of what RCS students are provided. Staff from the high school cafeteria also handed out healthy snacks. Maplevale Farms, foodservice distributors, was also in attendance.

The Village Dance Studio from Randolph encouraged people to take care of their physical health with dance and other exercise. Kim Weber, RCS elementary art teacher and a yoga instructor in Lakewood, promoted health through yoga.

“Because the event is covering mental health as well as physical health, several mental health agencies were invited to come including the Resource Center located in Jamestown, Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, Parent Network of WNY from Buffalo, to name a few,” Almeida said.

Several other health related organizations had displays set up with information including Rite Aid, with a display to encourage people to get their immunizations, and UB Dental to promote dental health.

As part of the Wellness Policies Committee, Almeida said they try to encompass overall health from physical to mental because people need a balance with all that. She said the school hosts the event, so its students and community will know what’s available to them.

If anyone is interested in participating in next year’s Wellness Fair, knows of someone who would bring display and information beneficial to physical and/or mental health, or knows of a person or family who has financial needs due to the devastating effect of cancer or other serious illness, they should contact Luce at the high school at (716) 358-7007 or email her at dluce@randolphcsd.org.