Wellness & Benefits Fair Marks City’s 1st Since 2006

CITY MANAGER Wyatt Shields (left) is serving as a “Walking Ambassador” for the fair as the City’s Human Resources staffer Meghan DeCelle looks on. (Photo: Patricia Leslie)

A free and public health fair is taking place on May 3 at the Falls Church Community Center where quick checkups on mental, physical and financial health will be available.

Falls Church’s Department of Human Resources is hosting the City’s first Wellness and Benefits Fair in more than 10 years to target city employees.

Fitness benefits both employees and employers alike since research shows repeatedly that fit employees are happier and more

“Our mission is to give employees resources, and to educate them on little things they can do to be well in every aspect of their
lives,” said Meghan DeCelle, human resources generalist, at her temporary office on Washington St. “We want employees to be healthy; everybody wants them to be healthy, and we also want to communicate to them that their health is a priority. A healthy workforce is a healthy organization and a healthy city.”

Fitness gurus, counselors, financial institutions, and others quickly snarfed up the 27 vendor spaces available on a first-come, first-serve basis, DeCelle said.

Life insurance vendors, medical and dental insurance representatives will be on hand for screenings of city employees and everybody will have access to the fair’s coupons, handouts, demonstrations and more.

“The more interactive the businesses are, the better,” DeCelle said. MiKiDo will probably perform martial arts demonstrations and Dancing Mind has plans to show some yoga techniques, including desk yoga. Pure Barre may bring a portable bar to use for exercise demonstrations. Massage Envy is expected to bring a massage chair.

CycleBar which offers indoor spinning at its location in the Harris Teeter building, will be at the fair. Manager and co-owner Maurice Freeman says they want to see what they can for fitness in Falls Church and find out more about what citizens want. He and his partners think Falls Church is an under served fitness market.

So far they are impressed with interest shown. “The clientele is just wonderful and a lot of fun. We could not have been in a better spot,” Freeman said in a phone interview.

Jennifer Halvaksz, another vendor and owner of Falls Church Physical Therapy and Movement Health, opened her business last fall after 10 years teaching at George Washington University.

She focuses on a person’s total health and she say she’s looking forward to interacting with people and talking about physical activity and how active we should be. She offers ideas to achieve them and conducts a three-minute step test
to learn overall client healthiness.

Last year after the benefits session, city employees expressed an interest in making the event more fun, so DeCelle and her staff went to work on the fair which Falls Church last hosted in 2006.

“When you reduce your stress, and medical, financial and family concerns can cause a huge amount of stress, we have resources to help people take care of their lives,” she said.

DeCelle is recruiting “walking ambassadors” to get the staff excited and has promises from City Manager Wyatt Shields and Major Rick Campbell, the deputy chief of police, to walk the almost half mile route from the city’s temporary offices to the community center.

The fair will run from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. on May 3 at the Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church).