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Health fair declared a success

"I think we're gonna end up with good numbers," Dot Cofer said Saturday as the McDuffie County Health Fair marked its 34th year. Dozens of health screenings and service agencies were available at the four-hour event at Thomson High School.

She already has begun selecting exhibitors for next year's fair, tentatively scheduled for April 14.

Cofer, who has organized the event since its inception, made special note of the presence of Dr. Mac Bowman, a Thomson native and Augusta cardiologist, who worked with Cofer during her recent heart attack.

Bowman, a 1969 Thomson High School graduate, said that he attends many health fairs but that the annual Thomson event is one of the best organized.

Booths featured screenings, information and more.

The McDuffie County Animal Shelter brought seven puppies seeking new homes, and all were adopted. Catherine Stephens of Dearing couldn't resist taking Princess home to meet her other three dogs.

Thomson High School agriculture students helped with the FFA plant sale.

"We sell them pretty fast," junior Brandon Hand said.

Camellia City Lions Club members helped figure charges for screenings.

Rhonwyn Fulcher, daughter of Cofer and her husband, Wendell, said planning for the health fair gave her mother a lift after her heart attack. She said Cofer's first question after surgery was not about her health but whether she could resume planning for the health fair.

"It gave her the motivation to do what she needed to do," Fulcher said. "Get up every day, exercise, take her medicine."

Bobby Rogers, 69, of Thomson, said he has attended every health fair except one. He missed that one because he was being treated for cancer, which was detected at the health fair.

He had one disappointment on Saturday: "I forgot to not eat this morning, so I couldn't take the blood test," he said.

Dot Cofer estimated the attendance at more than 400. She said the stormy weather might have discouraged attendance.

She said some first-time exhibitors expressed interest in returning to the 2012 health fair. She said Bowman plans to bring three more exhibits next year, including one with stroke information.

Web posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011

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