By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: February 22, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.
Organizers hope to build off first-year success for springtime event
DINWIDDIE – “Learn. Grow. Empower. Connect. Support. Gain.”
Those are six simple words when looked at in the grand scheme of things but, when combined and used as the pillars to enhance the future of a community, they represent the goals of Dinwiddie County’s Live Well Expo, which is returning on May 4 at Dinwiddie High School for a second year following the 2018 event’s success.
Designed to showcase the many ways to Eat Well, Move Well and Live Well here in Dinwiddie, the expo will bring together a plethora of health and wellness experts, specialists, and local vendors, all who will be on hand to provide useful information, samples, and live demonstrations. Last year’s expo at high school covered the gamut of topics and subjects, with over 40 different agencies and organizations on hand providing free health screenings and immunizations, required T-Dap shots for the county’s rising sixth graders were administered without charge, a variety of healthy food stations where attendees could try different dishes on hand, and a host of other vendors and demonstrations highlighted the first year of the event and Dinwiddie County Administrator Kevin Massengill hopes to use lessons learned from last year to make this year an even better event.
“Last year, being it was the first event, we were very pleased with the attendance and the number of vendors that came out,” he said. “I think the thinking this year is, if we can expand upon the vendors even more and making some things more interactive. I think the expansion will also include our faith-based community, as they are actively involved as they were last time.”
A lively round of “Healthy Nutrition Jeopardy” is played by Beverly Newcomb Butler, and facilitated by Abigail Hobbs, Crater Health District. (Rodger Allen Kidd)
The Live Well Expo served as a springboard to a methodical effort by the county to help better educate residents young and old by connecting them with the right people and information to help make their lives better, with the expo being birthed from the county’s resource council, a diverse body made up of local, state, and federal agencies, local nonprofit organizations, business partners and members of the county’s faith-based community seeks to find ways to connect Dinwiddie County citizens with relevant resources.
“This council is a consortium of the various services offered in the county and those individuals have come together to, in a manner of speaking, connect the dots of the various services that are rendered,” he said. “They are government entities, they’re nonprofit organizations and in some cases business owners. But, it all goes back to understanding there are a lot of individual services in the county, but there is a lot of collaboration of the services. So the resource council now has been in the process of developing a community asset map trying to map out the assets that already exist.”
Through this effort, Massengill said they are able to not only show where help and resources exist, but also discover gaps in resources in other areas.
“That helps us better understand a bit more strategically what those gaps are and then, as a community, how do we work to fill those gaps,” Massengill said. “So it is helpful to have [Deputy County Administrator] Tammie Collins and economic development as part of that team.”
He confirmed Dinwiddie County Public Schools and the county’s new faith-based council will continue to have important roles in this year’s Live Well Expo.
“Dr. Yardley Farquharson, director of Assessment and Student Services with Dinwiddie Schools, is very much one of the lead players in this endeavor and it is being hosted at the high school, so not only is it that they have participation in it, but the venue itself is school-related,” Massengill said. “Superintendent Dr. Kari Weston and the school board have been very supportive to the point where, at times, you wouldn’t be able to tell if this was a county initiative or a schools initiative.”
“This is all being collectively worked on at one time by everyone who is taking on the responsibility to further it and get more people involved,” he continued. “When you do that, good things happen.”
“We are blessed to have a community that has been receptive to this and are willing to give their time, talents, and resources to make these things successful in the county,” Massengill said.
To get involved or learn more about the expo, contact Dinwiddie Social Services Director Rose Mastracco at their offices, located 14010 Boydton Plank Rd inside the Dinwiddie County Government Center, call 804-469-4524 ext. 1103, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.