Wellness Week events planned for May 8 through 17

By Julia Green
The Margaretville community will have the opportunity to celebrate a Wellness Week during the week of May 8 through May 17, thanks to the efforts of an ongoing community task force and the Margaretville Hospital Aux-iliary Wellness Committee.
The week’s events will include the semi-annual health fair at Margaretville Hospital, a discussion of senior health, a “Food Play” program at area schools, Margaretville Central School’s annual Wellness Fair, and a Ride N Peak bike ride.
“Since September, I’ve been working with Terry Cohen on the development of a Wellness Task Force,” said John Riedl, who serves as chairman of the group. The group meets at the Catskill Center once a month to look at issues related to wellness in the community and includes representatives from the Cooperative Extension, the Office of the Aging, Delaware Opportunities, the MARK Group, Margaretville Mem-orial Hospital, Margaretville Central School and the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce.
“The Margareville Hospital Auxiliary Wellness Committee defines wellness as not just physical, but emotional, social, psychological and spiritual activities that keep a person well,” Riedl said. “Wellness means much more than the absence of sickness; it’s improving the quality of life.”
Riedl identified the task force as an “informal group” and the Auxiliary Wellness Committee as the “working arm” that makes things happen.
“The Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Auxiliary Wellness Committee was existing, but it has been revitalized,” Riedl added, “and that committee has taken on the initiative of getting the program going for Wellness Week.”
The week will kick off with the semi-annual health fair at Margaretville Memorial Hospital on Friday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Tuesday, May 12, the Delaware Opportunities program will hold a discussion at their senior meals site in Margaretville showcasing wellness and its value to seniors and promoting good eating habits. The event will take place at the Margaretville United Methodist Church at 12 p.m.; those interested in attending should call for reservations.
The weeklong celebration continues on Wednesday, May 13, when FoodPlay Productions performs at area schools. The Emmy award-winning nutrition media company tours the nation’s schools and uses the power of live theater to turn kids on to healthy eating and exercise habits. The Hospital Auxiliary with a grant from the O’Connor Foundation and various donations from the community will be providing the program to all three schools in the local area.
Also on May 13, the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual dinner at The Andes Hotel. David Lundquist, the new CEO of Health Alliance Planning, the company formed to oversee operations at Kingston, Benedictine and Margaretville hospitals, will speak about wellness issues in relation to the hospital.
Friday, May 15 will mark the annual Wellness Fair and Wellness Run at Margaretville Central School. This will mark the second year that MCS students will participate in the run, which is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. The run for elementary students will be held on school grounds, while the run for high school students will more than likely take runners around a route in the village.
The KAATS organization will sponsor a Ride N Peak bike ride on Saturday, May 16, chaired by Lucci Kelly, Peter Manning and Carol O’Beirne and supported by the Wellness Committee. Participants in the scenic bike ride will be able to choose from five routes with differing distances (104, 75, 54, 25 or 14 miles), all of which begin and end in Margaretville. Registration for the ride is $25 and includes a commemorative T-shirt and water and snacks along the ride route. There is an additional $5 charge for same-day registration, and children under 14 ride free with a registered adult rider. The daylong event will be complemented by community exercise walks in Margaretville and Fleischmanns at 9 a.m. Brochures on the historical walk will also be distributed to those on hand for the bike ride.
The week will be capped off with a celebration on Sunday, May 17 at The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, when the auxiliary will sponsor an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. “The open house is to celebrate the rural hospital and care center and activities in the community,” Riedl said. “We will also be unveiling our traveling promotional billboard to highlight the hospital.”
Anyone who has questions or would like to get involved with the Wellness Committee is urged to contact Riedl at 607 588-7711 or riedl@logical.net.