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ECS Babies Health Fair puts young ones on the right path for a healthy life

B.L. Azure
THHS PIO

UM Grizzly mascot Monte was the center of attraction at the ECS Babies Health Fair at the Ronan Event Center Saturday. (B.L. Azure photo) UM Grizzly mascot Monte was the center of attraction at the ECS Babies Health Fair at the Ronan Event Center Saturday. (B.L. Azure photo)

RONAN — The future was in present in all their glory and beauty at the 9th annual Early Childhood Services Babies Health Fair Saturday at Ronan. The future, of course, were the babes in arms, babes in strollers and babes testing out their gangly little legs while their parents were getting medical advice and screening for themselves and their little ones from various medical vendors set up at the Event Center.

Diabetes Prevention Program certified dietician Brenda Bodnar offers some advice on a healthy nutritional diet. (B.L. Azure photo) Diabetes Prevention Program certified dietician Brenda Bodnar offers some advice on a healthy nutritional diet. (B.L. Azure photo)

“The spring and babies go together so well,” said Jeanne Christopher, ECS director. The youngest babe at the health fair was 10 days old. “Spring starts life anew and the babies are starting their young lives.”

Christopher said the turnout was pretty good when considering there was another babies’ health fair as well as a trade show happening at the same time in Polson.

THHS dental hygienist Anna Burham (left) and Ellen Bigsam, dental assistant tell these young ones about the importance of proper dental care. (B.L. Azure photo) THHS dental hygienist Anna Burham (left) and Ellen Bigsam, dental assistant tell these young ones about the importance of proper dental care. (B.L. Azure photo)

Regardless of the other draws for people’s attention the Event Center was a very busy place. There was plenty of health information, loads of prizes for the drawings, vendor give aways, a nice lunch, children’s games and the constant buzz of laughter from the rambunctious youngsters.

The prizes for the drawings were mostly donations from local and area businesses. And the donations were greatly appreciated.

THHS nurse Catherine Addison checks out the height of this young mother at the Tribal Health screening area. (B.L. Azure photo) THHS nurse Catherine Addison checks out the height of this young mother at the Tribal Health screening area. (B.L. Azure photo)

“We get some very generous donations from businesses and organizations throughout the valley,” Christopher said. “We really, really appreciate the donations, they help make this successful. People come here for the health information and screenings. The prize drawings help and the prizes are for things that a family can use at their homes or in their vehicles.”

How do you spell success?

“I have a lot of good people on staff who are really into this and they work hard to make it a success,” Christopher said. “That’s why this is going smoothly.”

Monte cheeses it up with a young admirer at the ECS Babies’ Health Fair. (B.L. Azure photo) Monte cheeses it up with a young admirer at the ECS Babies’ Health Fair. (B.L. Azure photo)

Early Childhood Services with a staff of 89 folks presently has 250 children at its various centers throughout the Flathead Indian Reservation. And Christopher said it is a good place to work for those who love children — who don’t?

“We’re always looking for people who work well with kids to work at Early Childhood Services,” Christopher said. “I want to thank them and all the people who attended the health fair. They made this successful. I hope to see everybody again at next year’s baby fair.”

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