Oneida Members, Elders and their families, along with several Health Services clients visited the Government Programs & Services annual wellness fair at the Nation Rec Center last week. Employees from the Nation’s Government Programs and Services, including Health Services and the Recreation Department, were on hand to provide information about healthy living practices and offer engaging activities.

Pat Catalano, the Nation’s GP&S program coordinator, organized stations throughout the gymnasium that included paraffin hand waxing, a hole-in-one contest with representatives from Turning Stone’s golf department, a spot to measure your body mass index (BMI), a signup sheet for oral cancer screenings with dental goodie bags, and a planking station led by recreation supervisor Cole Perkins.

Turning Stone sous chefs, Yolanda Lee and Holly Tennant, made several healthy salads, soups and an all-natural, detoxifying juice for the guests, and led cooking demonstrations for those that were interested. They also took part in the planking contest at the end of the evening.

“We love doing these events,” Yolanda said, who works primarily at the Upstate Tavern. “We get to create new, healthy food options for the group and turnout is always high.”

Many visitors got their first glimpse of the revamped fitness room and all of the new equipment as well. Mollie Tracy, the Nation’s diabetes program coordinator, said the new equipment was funded by the diabetes program through a grant to encourage physical activity and overall wellness for the community.

Other stations this year included an opioid awareness display headed by Nation police officer, Tim Boehlert, a de-cluttering and home organization demonstration, and a presentation on women’s wellness by Christine Riggall, NP.

Pat also set up a shuttle this year to bring people back and forth to the Rec Center and the Ray Elm Children and Elders Center throughout the three-hour event. Overall, she said the new location at the Rec Center gave everyone more space to try and see everything that was offered.

“It was our first time at the Rec and it was much easier for people to park down here instead of overfilling the C+E lot where many had to walk up from the Village of the White Pines in years past,” she said. “We were able to get all of the stations in one location, too, so everybody could go around and engage with everybody. It was a great turnout.”

Several guests filed through the stations and a few lucky ones also took home gift baskets that were raffled off toward the end. The Nation’s Government Programs and Services provide essential facilities for Nation Members, Children of Enrolled Oneida Members and Health Services clients to get the best in healthcare, education and youth development, and Elder and community services. For more information on services offered, please visit or call (315) 829-8900.