CRESTVIEW — Nine years ago, area residents recognized a medical need and decided to do something about it.
The 3rd Masonic District's annual No Child Without Health Care Fair, now in its 10th year, is the result of that decision. It provides health care screenings for children in families that have limited or no access to routine medical care.
Residents from Okaloosa to Washington County may bring their children ages 0-18 years old to the fair for free medical screenings, school and sports physicals, and dental checks. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The fair is scheduled from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Crestview High School at 1250 Ferdon Blvd. N.
The event is free, including lunch at noon. Registration for physicals and to see a doctor ends at 1 p.m. No medical care will be given on site, but parents may make appointments for later follow-ups with a doctor's office, Bazine McDonald said.
McDonald, a veteran fair participant through the Order of the Eastern Star's Crestview chapter, said 10 doctors have confirmed their participation so far. They will check things such as blood pressure, weight and height, and give eye exams. All paperwork required will be on-site.
"We have fingerprinting and ID, and we also have school supplies issued to students," she said.
Other medical areas to be addressed include weight control, diet, diabetes, allergies, immunizations, and sickle cell anemia and trait.
Aisha Morris, an Eastern Star member who has assisted at the fair for four years, said one of the best things about it is "hearing from the parents of how much it was needed, just so that they don't have to take off a day from work. I definitely understand that myself."
The event serves about 500 people a year, including about 200 who get school and sports physicals, according to Malcolm Haynes with the Masons.
Sponsors include Mount Zion A.M.E. Church, the Kiwanis Club of Crestview, Dr. Michael Neuland of Allergy Partners and Dr. Joseph Peter.
For more information or to participate as a vendor, physician or sponsor, contact Aisha Morris (830-3843, email@example.com) or Bazine McDonald (803-1569 or firstname.lastname@example.org).