Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Shepherd in the News

Church plans health fair
Event to include experts, tests for diabetes, blood pressure
from the Press and Sun Bulletin

For many years, it was a weekly soup kitchen.

Then, the Church of the Good Shepherd on Conklin Avenue in Binghamton issued a come-one, come-all call to a free ice cream social -- and hundreds happily answered.

Now, they're opening their doors again to the community for a health event, and they're bringing in all sorts of professionals to serve as free resources.

Along with the fun stuff -- free bicycle helmets and health goodie bags, ambulance and fire truck tours and a visit from the Tooth Fairy -- they'll offer screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, sleep apnea and HIV, and information on wound therapy, sleep disorders and hospice resources.

Among the professionals offering their time and talents are Dr. Mauricio Valencia and wife, Tina; Asthma Team member Elaine Carril; music therapist Candie Stiles; Dr. Michael Krembs from Abundant Life Chiropractic; and massage therapist Vicky Bullock, who will give free neck massages, explains Carmen Swoffer-Penna, one of the event's organizers.

Whole in the Wall restaurant and Health Beat Foods will have offerings, too, as well as other local companies.

The health mission will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, a chicken barbecue will be going on outside until 3, and a rummage sale will take place in the basement from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The church congregation is a diverse mix of youngsters, college kids, adults and elderly, explains Eucharistic minister and parish nurse Dolly Shaller, who has been a regular since she was a girl. An interior door bears a dedication to her late father, Robert L. Shaller, and her 96-year-old mom, Mariam Shaller, is still a vibrant part of the congregation.

They enjoy closeness as a church family -- and appreciate being able to serve their neighbors on the South Side of Binghamton with events such as this health mission, Dolly says.

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