HANCOCK - Portage Health's fourth annual Day for Women offered hundreds of dollars of important health screenings for just $25, but 120 women who pre-registered for Saturday's event got much more than that from their visit to Portage's main campus in Hancock.
They got valuable health advice during two presentations, important hands-on experience during one of four interactive breakout sessions, a wide variety of information and free samples from 20 vendors, and meals prepared by Portage chef Mark Pittillo.
"It's a great day for women to come out to focus on their health, but in a relaxed, fun environment," said Angela Luskin, community health coordinator for Portage Health.
Stephen Anderson/Daily Mining Gazette
Marianne Bohjanen of Stanton Township discusses raw, living food diet options at Saturday’s Day for Women event at Portage Health in Hancock with vendor Linda Kinnunen, who is trying to set up a living food community in the Copper Country.
"We're talking about your cholesterol, important numbers - body composition, blood pressure, but we're doing it in a non-threatening environment," she added. "We're teaching them, we're letting them get a little pampering with the massage, and then these great products by the vendors, enjoying great food, great company - it's a great day all around."
In addition to the bone density, blood pressure and blood sugar screenings available to women in previous years, a new body composition screening was available and it was one of many improvements to the event in its fourth year.
"Each year we do it, we try to fix a few little minor things so it gets a little smoother every single year. Even as we continue to grow, we've had positive comments all around," Luskin said.
Keweenaw Co-op Communications Coordinator Faye Carr was attending the event for the first time as a vendor, showcasing several environmentally friendly products specially tailored for women.
"A lot of people walk in the Co-op they're coming in for food and they don't realize we have lots of women's awareness books, some feminine hygiene products that don't pollute the planet, ammonia-free hair dye stuff that's good for you and good for the planet," said Carr, who thought the event was a success.
"I think it's always nice for women to get out and treat themselves to a day together. That seems to be what's happening here. I see girlfriends and sisters and moms together."
Some women used the event as a general health check-up, others as a social event to bond with other women and interact with vendors, while others just enjoyed the chance to try something new.
Debbie Parks from Laurium was attending her first Day for Women, and she took the opportunity to try yoga for the first time during a "yogalates" breakout session.
"It was very informative and the instruction was very upbeat," she said. "It's my first time here and it's very, very good. The food alone is worth $25. I hope they keep doing it because the women are all enjoying themselves."
According to Luskin, Portage will continue to offer and improve the event as it heads into the fifth annual Day for Women next year. Portage's next event is the SiSu Shuffle, slated for Saturday.