March can be a busy time in Galveston. Our (hopefully) brief winter comes to an end, and a few blissful months of perfect weather lure visitors of all kinds back to the island.

There are things to fix around the house, gardening to do and, of course, the hustle and bustle of Mardi Gras celebrations.

Between the king cake, the parades, and avoiding the inevitable traffic snarls on the seawall, it can be hard to stay focused on taking care of ourselves and our health.

On Saturday, a group of University of Texas Medical Branch students invites the Galveston community to join in celebrating Mardi Gras in a very special way by taking part in a Healthy Living Event (what used to called a health fair) for adults and children in the Galveston Community.

Organized by Students Together for Service, a group that brings together service organizations from across the UTMB campus, this second annual event will take place at McGuire-Dent Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will feature booths run by students and clinicians ranging from healthy cooking demonstrations to free yoga classes to games and activities for the kids.

There will be door prizes for the first 50 attendees, and a healthy living raffle will feature items such as blenders and cookbooks.

Some other special activities include a bike safety booth that will provide helmets for children and information booths on fitness, nutrition and sun safety.

Although, like last year, the atmosphere will be lively and fun for all ages, the major focus, of course, is helping people take care of their health and prevent illness.

Medical and Clinical Lab sciences students at UTMB will be offering free health screenings, checking cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other important markers.

St. Vincent’s clinic representatives will be on hand to help connect clients with health resources in the community, and a community health worker will answer questions about signing up for insurance under the new health care law.

A Healthy Living Event is like a health fair but with a bigger focus on prevention, holistic approaches to health and follow-up.

This year’s Healthy Living Event features a special partnership with the UTMB student chapters of the American Medical Association and the Texas Medical Association, who are hosting medical students from all across Texas and several neighboring states for their annual regional conference.

This diverse group will be joining UTMB’s student volunteers, helping with health screenings and running booths on osteopathic medicine and food safety.

There is no cost to attend, so this Mardi Gras come join a group of enthusiastic future health providers in celebrating health … and, of course, there will be beads.

At a glance

WHAT: Students Together for Service Healthy Living Event

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: McGuire-Dent Recreation Center, 2222 28th St., in Galveston

DETAILS: Free health screenings, free exercise classes, healthy living raffle, family friendly

CONTACT: Contact Kat Joel-Reich 409-772-2782;

Rimma Osipov is an M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Texas Medical Branch and an officer in Students Together for Service.

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