By Lauren Cabral
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - The Harker Heights Public Library was filled with people seeking to get healthy and many more willing to show them how on Saturday during the library's first-ever Holistic Health Fair.
Eighteen vendors were on hand to provide information about and demonstrations of health topics and activities ranging from martial arts and midwifery to organic food and reflexology.
"We thought it would be the perfect time since people were making their New Year's resolutions," said Lisa Reyes, a reference librarian who helped plan the event.
Healthy snacks were available throughout the library, and staff and volunteers handed out Starbucks coffee and tea while they were directing people to vending tables, all filled with literature and samples of a variety of items.
Earl Henderson of America's Martial Arts Institute was at the fair to sign people up for free introductory classes and tours of their facility. Some of the institute's members also provided demonstrations.
"Today we are informing people about health and martial arts, not only about external health but internal health and how you can accomplish that simply by doing martial arts."
The center offers traditional kung fu, tai chi and a fitness class called Cage Fitness. They also have a class designed by Matt Hughes, a nine-time Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion.
"We're the only people that do that," he said of Hughes' class, which is featured only in Florida and in select Texas locations.
H-E-B's Harker Heights location was represented by Justin Oaks, produce manager.
"We're promoting organics, of course, mainly produce," he said. H-E-B has been selling organic foods for years, he said, but is increasing its variety as more and more customers show interest.
Lots to learn
Alice Baumann found the store's station one of the most interesting.
"I'm glad to hear H-E-B is going to be expanding its organic section," she said.
Baumann and her children, Madeline, 7, and Jonathon, 5, came to the fair after they came into the library earlier that morning and saw what was going on. The children were interested in the fair, but not for the same reason as their mother.
"She likes free giveaways," Baumann said of her daughter.
Dr. Boyoung Chung and Gary Hurst were also on hand to promote MBS Wellness Chiropractic, which offers chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition response testing, smoking cessation and sports injury treatments, as well as free health workshops.
"We're trying to spread wellness as much as we can," Chung said.
Viola Crowder-Moger was representing Sweet Serenity Therapeutic Massage in Harker Heights, as well as the Young Living Essential Oils she uses.
"I'm just sort of explaining the different techniques that I use in my practice to assist families," she said, noting she encouraged families to try the techniques at home to take care of themselves as well.
Crowder-Moger is also involved with the Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, designed for soldiers returning from serving in the Middle East. She also gives meditation classes at Central Texas College.
"I'm a massage therapist that believes in and loves what I do," she said. "I'm really grateful to the library for hosting the fair, they did a great job."
Army Community Services had Relocation Readiness Program representatives at the fair who said they were glad to be present as well.
"We bring information to soldiers and families off post, rather than waiting for them to seek out services," said Tonya Hearon, ACS outreach coordinator. "I think it's a great opportunity to get out and be in the midst of the community that surrounds Fort Hood."
RunTex Georgetown, a high-end athletic shoe distributor that provides free custom fittings, also was represented, which Jessica Lang appreciated.
Lang lives in the area and said she attends many of the library's programs.
"I got some information about karate for my son, and I'm interested in these running shoes," she said. "I come to the library a lot, and I'm trying to get healthier."
Reyes said the library planned to continue providing resources to keep people healthy, and had purchased reference materials to support the health options represented at the fair. Books, Playaways and DVDs related to staying healthy are now available for checkout.
Reyes also noted the library's website would feature information and a blog about the new health material.
"We're really excited and we hope that the community really supports it," Reyes said.
Contact Lauren Cabral at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.