Hope and Health Festival in Lorton

Hope and Health Festival in Lorton

Sixth annual event sponsored by LCAC, South County Church, and Lorton Library.

Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority with the Omicron Theta Zeta Chapter take part in a Zumba class.

Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority with the Omicron Theta Zeta Chapter take part in a Zumba class. Photo by Steve Hibbard.


Children make bracelets and necklaces at the craft booth sponsored by Lorton Library (from left): Kholoud Founti, Yasmine Idrissi, Mohammed Founti, and Jannat Founti.


Volunteers Lydia Shibru and Mahi Shibru hand out food at the LCAC Food Pantry during Saturday’s Hope and Health Festival, which is sponsored by Lorton Community Action Center, South County Church and the Lorton Community Library.


Lalni Sharma, a nurse with INOVA HealthPlex of Lorton, takes the blood pressure of Brett Thibodeau.


Vimarsh Choudhary, 10, of Lorton, checks out the Fairfax County Police Department cruiser.

Several hundred people turned out for the sixth annual Hope and Health Festival behind Lorton Library on Saturday, May 5, 2018. The event was sponsored by Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC), South County Church and the Lorton Community Library.

“The goal of the event is to provide health screenings and information to families in the community and to also provide an opportunity for free, fun activities for kids,” said Linda Patterson, Executive Director of LCAC.

The groups that set up booths included the Mason Neck Lions Club, which was doing vision and hearing screenings; the Kaiser Permanente van doing a variety of labs like cholesterol and glucose checks; and INOVA Lorton HealthPlex doing blood pressure screenings. In addition, a variety of county agencies provided information related to SNAP benefits, Medicaid and domestic violence assistance.

The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department conducted child IDs and Fairfax County Police Department showed off their police cruiser. In addition, the LCAC Food Pantry distributed free produce; the Lorton Library gave out free books, and there were inflatables for the children. The event has grown from 175 visitors six years ago to 400 this year.

According to Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District Supervisor: “Health and fitness are the foundation of any community and the Hagel Circle [neighborhood] in the Lorton area has really blossomed with the amount of additional resources that we’ve spent here on trying to do just that -- increasing health and fitness. And this event helps bring all those things together for kids and families to have some fun while also learning good things about health and wellness.”

Sponsor Andy Casper, Pastor, South County Church added: “We’ve been doing this for six years, which is hard to believe, it’s just a great partnership with LCAC and the Lorton Library. But we really just wanted to provide an event that would provide resources and hope for people. We know that a lot of people get lost and a lot of people are not only lonely, but they have a lot of needs and so for us to be able to have the opportunity to come out here and care for people, that’s our one goal -- to care for people and to make sure every person feels like a guest of honor here today.”