Wearing “Arrive Alive” stickers after learning the importance of wearing seat belts, some teens at the Feb. 3 Teen Health Fair said that was one of the most important things they had learned during the three-hour event at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.

Wearing “Arrive Alive” stickers after learning the importance of wearing seat belts, some teens at the Feb. 3 Teen Health Fair said that was one of the most important things they had learned during the three-hour event at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.
Although some of them were not old enough to try it themselves, they had seen Brandon Lococo, a Marion County 9-1-1 dispatcher and Ralls County deputy sheriff, ride the seat belt demonstrator brought by Cpl. Justin Dunn of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, showing how seat belts save lives in a head-on collision.
This 22nd annual Teen Health Fair was sponsored by the CHART Teen Task Force and Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department. It featured 30 booths manned by various health-related agencies, offering advice on healthy eating, driving and decision-making regarding drugs and dating.
Among the skills they were practicing was shooting guns. Craig Miller of the Pike County 4-H Shooting Sports was showing Hannibal High freshman Caleb Wooten how to handle and shoot a 20-gauge pump shotgun.
In mid-afternoon three seventh graders from Bowling Green shared some of the advice they planned to take home with them. After displaying prizes they won in the drawings, Dakota Hill said he had learned to wear a seat belt. He won a family pass to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in a drawing.
Dylan Fox had won a toy dog, and said he had learned the “dangerous things about drinking and driving.”
Millie Goff took time out from eating pizza to say when wearing the glasses that illustrated the affects of drinking and walking, “I was wobbly, and everything was curved.”
In another group, Samantha Smith said she learned that 80 percent of traffic crashes are caused by distracted drivers. Emily Collins learned about wearing life jackets in a boat. Lizabeth Brown said she learned to wear a seat belt and about drugs and prescription medicine.
New Health Fair participants this year included members of Gracie Barra, who gave jiu-jitsu demonstrations. Connor Brown of the business was giving the teens registration information to take home.
Also sharing information at the health fair for the first time were members of Teens in Motion.
Additional students sharing new information they had learned included Cara Lindsay, who learned 30 percent of car accidents are caused by drunk drivers.
Cami Penrod (wearing an eye patch she had won) learned how much plastic goes into the ocean.
Megan Niemeyer had learned accident statistics and the importance of seat belts.
Tia Little enjoyed the jiu-jitsu demonstration.
Several groups of volunteers were helping this year. A dozen members of the LPN program at Hannibal-LaGrange University were volunteering, including Sarah Spurgeon, Sha'ta Bias and Betsy Betts.
Sandra Ahlum, M.D., chairperson of the CHART Teen Task Force, reported nearly 500 people attended this year's health fair, including 250 teens.
“We had a great day with good weather, not too warm and no snow,” she added. “Buses came from Bowling Green, Canton, Marion County R-2 in Philadelphia and the Faith Walk Academy in Paris.”
See photo gallery for more pictures of the health fair.
Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.