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February 25, 2013

St. Mark’s health fair serves hundreds

New Albany church event fills a void with free checkups and more

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

But whatever the level of need, the health clinic doesn’t turn people away.

By 11 a.m.  — the health fair took place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. — lines had already formed throughout the fair. One of the more popular destinations at the health fair is the eye care clinic. Located in the church’s sanctuary, people clogged the entrance waiting to get an appointment for an eye exam and, if necessary, a free pair of glasses.

“They’re giving out glasses today,” said Sandra Lawrence, a volunteer who was helping a family navigate through the health fair.

A host of frames and prescriptions were set up in the sanctuary, so after people are finished with the exam the glasses could be made on-site. If a special prescription was needed, the optometrists that volunteered their time Saturday will make the glasses and have them available for the person to pick up at a later date, Swisher said.

She said about 200 people were served in the vision clinic last year and 60 pairs of specialty glasses were made.

The eye clinic was the reason Ronnie Vincent, Sr. and his wife Debbie made the trek to the health fair from Sellersburg.

“They don’t realize how much it helps people ... and how much it means,” he said.

Swisher said the majority of the people that come to the health fair are from Floyd and Clark counties, but also serve people from areas like Scott and Harrison counties.

This year the church also connected with a Jeffersonville-based outreach group, Jesus Cares at Exit 0, to bus people from Clark County to downtown New Albany.

In addition to checkups, visitors were offered five items per person from the church’s clothes closet and a hot meal. 

The cafeteria was also home to a resource center which provided access to a wide variety of information from LifeSpan Resources, Ivy Tech and Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. In total, the resource center had contact information for 150 different organizations, Swisher said.

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Jamie Collins, Scottsburg, works on lesson plans in her classroom at Scribner Middle School on Monday afternoon. Collins was the recipient of a $100 gift card to the Your Educational Supply Store from the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. Education Foundation. All first-time teachers in the school system received a gift card to help them set up their classrooms.

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