Wellness Fair a Den of Healthy Eating and Exercise

One way to stay health? Kids at Saturday’s Boyertown Wellness Fair were encouraged to try walking a tightrope (at top) as part of its obstacle course challenge

BOYERTOWN PA – Six potential future James Beard culinary award winners arrived Saturday morning (March 18, 2023) at Boyertown Area Senior High School with food-laden platters in their arms, the glint of competitive spirits in their eyes, and broad smiles on their faces.

All were elementary school students.

And all were at the high school not only because they are talented chefs, but also because they wanted to teach the public that eating healthy can also be delicious.

Wellness Fair a Den of Healthy Eating and Exercise
Wellness Fair a Den of Healthy Eating and Exercise

The six were Finley Scheidler, in kindergarten at Boyertown Elementary School; Grace Monterano, in kindergarten, and Zoey Hapenovich, a first-grader, both at Gilbertsville Elementary; Madison Boardman, a second-grader at Earl Elementary; Zoey Davis (at right), a third-grader at Washington Elementary; and Evan Conver (above), a fourth-grader at New Hanover Elementary.

They were selected from among groups of competitors to become finalists in a Kids Celebrity Chef battle. It was one of many activities planned for the 16th annual wellness fair held by the Wellness Council of Boyertown. The council is one of several programs sponsored by Boyertown Area Multi-Service, and specifically looks to help area residents happily enjoy long, full, and satisfying lives.

Don’t envy the panel of seven judges who were tasked with choosing a consensus favorite from the field of strong contenders, or members of the public who also cast votes for winners as the fair ended. They faced tough choices.

Scheidler offered up Banana Oat Cookies. Monterano supplied Loaded Bear Paw Apple Nachos. Hapenovich’s dish was a Sassy Salad with Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette. Boardman brought Veggie-Packed Pizza Rolls to the table. Davis handed out her own Zoey Burger. Conver whipped up Brownie Batter Dip, accompanied by crunchies. Visitors to the chefs’ tables got to taste free samples of their entries.

As their guests chowed down the chefs described what was in their creations, why they represented healthier choices, and how they could be easily reproduced by anyone at home. They even distributed copies of their recipes for those ready to experiment.

Wellness Fair a Den of Healthy Eating and Exercise

Ultimately, the judge’s choice was Hapenovich and her Sassy Salad (above at left), the council later reported. First-place winner in the public vote was Boardman’s pizza rolls (above at right), followed by Davis and her burgers in second, and the Monterano nachos, third.

Also at the Wellness Fair

Wellness Fair a Den of Healthy Eating and Exercise

The value of exercise also was a persistent theme Saturday.

Visitors could participate in a walk or a run … and the day’s weather was beautiful for either. Three different presentations – highlighting Zumba, crossfit training (above), and dance – were held during a 90-minute period in the Bear gym. Senior citizens were invited to try their hand at a walking Bingo game. A physical obstacle challenge for kids also was set up in the Cub gym.

Sponsors for this year’s edition of the wellness fair were the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, the Healthy Kids Running Series of Boyertown, Thrive Acupuncture Center, Keystone Running and Walking, Frecon Farms, Kimberton Whole Foods, Walmart, and Ritas’s Water Ice of Boyertown.

A list of 20 health-and-wellness related vendors introduced visitors to their services and products. All said they were impressed by the size of the attendance; some added they have been part of the fair for years.

Photos by The Post