“Eat well, live well” was the tagline for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce annual Health & Wellness Fest, which was held April 22 at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson. Attendees were instructed on how to do both by vendors set up at tables in the school’s gymnasium, featuring representatives from Stony Brook Medicine, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, St. Charles Hospital and many others.
“It’s been growing every year, and in the last two years, we were so fortunate as to have St. Charles Hospital provide us with the healthy snacks, and that’s really helped us boost the attendance,” Chamber President Jim Karras said in an interview during the event.
Chamber director of operations Barbara Ransome was also pleased with the number of vendors who turned out to offer advice to interested community members.
“We had no extra tables this year,” she said. “We had over 80 tables this year…I think there were like 45 individual vendors…All of our local nonprofits, we don’t charge them, so we feel like this is giving back to our community.”
Karras said he is proud of what the chamber has built with the annual event.
“There’s a lot of health and wellness events in the area, but I think we’re the only one that has the three major hospitals sponsoring them,” he said. “That makes a big difference.”
Ransome thanked the district for their hospitality.
“We want to put a shout out to our school,” she said. “Fred Koelbel, who is the superintendent of buildings here for the Port Jefferson School District, and for them to allow us to use this great facility, we have elevated this event.”
Other vendors included Jefferson’s Ferry lifecare community, L.I. Botanical Wellness, Save-A-Pet, Paws of War, Port Jefferson Hearing and many more.