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Sponsors aim to make health and safety fair broad ranging at Caste Village fair

| Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 4:18 p.m.

Learn to escape a burning home, discover just how dangerous it is to drive a car while impaired, find healthy recipes to cook for the family and get your car seat checked all at once.

To this end, a “Health, Wellness and Safety Fair” is scheduled in the Caste Village parking lot on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free activities for people of all ages. The event is co-sponsored by the Caste Village Merchants and State Farm Agent Monica Bonacci, whose office is in Caste Village.

“We really just want to promote health, safety and wellness for people of all ages,” Bonacci said. “Our overall goal is to create awareness on many levels.”

Local businesses and Whitehall public safety leaders will host activities throughout the day — including healthy cooking demonstrations, bike safety inspections and school bus training.

Whitehall police and the Whitehall Fire Company will be present with activities for children, Bonacci said. A “burn house” that will be on site will simulate a fire and teach children how to escape, she said.

Medical Rescue Team South Authority will offer car seat safety checks, bike safety inspections, blood pressure screenings and ambulance tours.

“As paramedics, we often meet people on their worst days. These types of events give us an opportunity to interact with the community and prevent injury through education,” MRTSA deputy chief of administration Jesse Siefert said.

Addressing health, safety and wellness issues with residents is important, officials said.

“It's fantastic,” Mayor James Nowalk said. “In our community and I think across the United States of America, there's a need for the topics of health, safety and wellness to be discussed. These are prominent topics.

“We have to be proactive about these topics,” Nowalk said. “We have to take time to discuss these issues.”

The fair also will serve as the kickoff to rally Baldwin-Whitehall School District residents and community members to sign-up and vote for the “Celebrate My Drive” grant program, which Bonacci is working with district students to launch a campaign, she said. The program, sponsored by State Farm, encourages safe driving and awards two $100,000 grants and 90 $25,000 grants to the school districts that receive the most online votes between Oct. 18 and 26, she said.

Bonacci said she is working with a group of students in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District to launch a campaign, where they will rally at football games and other activities to get votes for the school district. To vote, log on to and select the school district of choice.

“We're very gung-ho about this,” Bonacci said. “It's as simple as these kids going online, registering and voting. We're trying very hard to win these grants.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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