Opportunities abound at fair

LIHUE — If anyone is looking for something to do this morning, drop by the Kukui Grove Center.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting the “Walk to Prevent Suicide” with registration starting at 7 a.m. and the opening ceremony and walk starting at 7:30 a.m., said Bridget Arume, the adviser for Kauai Leaders Against Suicide.

The walk is one of the featured events of Suicide Prevention Week, joining the group’s appearance at the Eighth annual Health & Wellness Fair on Friday at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

Solange Patrick, an instructor with the University of Hawaii Nursing program, said there was good news for people interested in a nursing career — they can do it without leaving Kauai.

Kauai Community College provided both first-year nursing students, indicated by their blue outfits, and candidates for the bachelor of arts in nursing, indicated by green outfits, to help with the different stations during the fair.

“Once you graduate from the blue outfits, you become a registered nurse,” Patrick said. “Beyond that, if you want to further your career, you work for a bachelor’s degree which opens the door to a career in nursing. The good part is you can do it without having to leave the island — all through the Kauai Community College.”

Rozetta Williams, recently hired by the YWCA of Kauai, said the fair was an opportunity for her to learn about other agencies and the services they offer around the island.

“I have my own booth at the YWCA, but this is a good time to learn about the other services on the island,” Williams said, while checking into military retirement for her husband at the Veterans Affairs table.

Others learned something new about healthy foods.

“I’m going home and plant this,” said Arlene Baker, showing off stalks of kale she received from Mary Alfiler who led the cooking demonstration featuring kale salad. “This was so delicious, and she made it in two seconds. Absolutely, I’m planting this.”

Charlene Burgess, taking care of the VA table, said they have had great success with the rural health outreach program, discovering several hundred veterans from the different parts of Kauai.

She said more outreach programs are scheduled, including the Women Veterans Conference on Oct. 18 when Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will be the featured speaker.

“This is all about getting the word out to the veterans,” Burgess said. “They need to know what is available to them, and we need to get the word to them.”

Barbara Gusman and Tiffany Gilhuly of the Courtyard by Marriott at the Coconut Beach were “shopping” for the resort’s annual employee health fair.

“We do the health fair once a year for our associates,” Gusman said. “We take advantage of events like this to see which of the agencies and groups fit within the criteria to offer the best we can find for our employees.”

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