Last year, they served about 100 children, but such is the need for free school physicals that this year they served more than 150 children.
“We had to cut it off at 160 [children],” said Lou Kobus, president of the Mount Vernon Community Coalition, Inc. “It has just exploded this year.”
This is the second year that the coalition has sponsored the health fair. Co-sponsored by Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and the Fairfax County Health Department, Partnership for Healthy Kids, the fair provides free school physicals to children who don’t have health insurance and are entering school for the first time. Kobus said that this year they extended it to include school physicals as well.
“There’s no reason that kids who can’t afford it should be left out of sports,” said Kobus.
In addition to the free physicals, every child will receive a bag stuffed with goodies donated by local merchants, churches and civic groups. Kobus said that Roy Rogers and Krispy Kreme donate food the volunteers who work the fair.
Juley Dulowski, recreational director at The Gables, supervised the stuffing of the bags. There to help her was Susan Defonde, Spring Cottage coordinator, and several of the residents. Bags were grouped by age group and loaded with all kind of school supplies, baggies, tissues and scissors.
Dulowski said that Katy Fike had been in and out all week dropping off supplies. Bonnie Lilley, who coordinated the fair with Fike, was there on the day before the fair, checking to see what was still missing.
“It’s been a great thing,” Kobus said.