Whitewater Wellfest aims to teach community members how to choose a healthy lifestyle

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The first ever Whitewater Wellfest will take place this Saturday at Whitewater High School.

UW-Whitewater alumna Charlotte Erickson is directing the free event hosted by the Working for Whitewater’s Wellness coalition.

“[Whitewater] has a lot of things to offer especially in terms of healthy living styles,” Erickson said. “I wish I would have known that while I was in school here.”

Whitney Henley, the wellness coordinator here on campus, is also helping plan the event.

Henley said Wellfest would start with an opening session to explain more about what W3 is, as well as what attendees can do throughout the day.

“It [Wellfest] offers different ways that people with all different interests can get involved,” Henley said.

According to Erickson, the selection of activities at Wellfest will speak to everyone from families and community members, to students.

Erickson said W3 is not just about physical health, but spiritual as well, and there will be sessions, such as yoga, focused on spiritual wellness.

She said there would also be activities dealing with financial management and family communication.

“A lot of people, when they think of wellness, they don’t necessarily think about the importance of having a positive outlook or a family and community connection, which is a big part of what W3 is,” Erickson said.

Henley said there will be several fun classes taught at Wellfest including a “pole dancing” class for the elderly that W3 will continue to host throughout the summer.

“This class will teach them how to work out while still using their walking canes,” Henley said.

Erickson said there would also be a resource fair with local area venders taking place during the event.

One vendor, Anne Drehfal, will have a booth on local organic produce. Her and her partner, Dennis Fiser, just moved to the Whitewater area to start their own organic produce farm.

“The community has been really welcoming so far,” Drehfal said.

Drehfal said she would talk about the importance of a healthy diet, as well as the benefits of supporting local farms.

“Supporting local farmers, be that organic or not, is a really important thing for our local economy as well as people’s pocket book,” Drehfal said.

Wellfest will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday at Whitewater High School. You can pre-register on the W3 website, but it’s not required. To find out more about Wellfest or W3, go to www.w3wellness.org.