Our Fourth Annual Community Health and Wellness Fair is this weekend.  We are looking forward to a fabulous event for residents – but we are even more excited about what we created for the business community.

On Sunday, April 29 from 11am – 3pm at the West Cook YMCA in Oak Park, the public is invited to this free extravaganza.  You can take a free fitness class, meet local health and wellness experts, ask questions, get a free health screening, and enjoy the children’s activities area.

Our team has worked hard to create a Fair that is worthwhile, engaging and fun for everyone.  But that is a by-product of our mission, not the primary goal itself of a business association created to serve businesses, not the public per se.  Special events like the Health Fair allow us to create promotional and leadership opportunities for our local businesses.

When you deconstruct our special events, you’ll see a clear pro-business structure.  Special events typically are centered around a specific industry. Each event provides businesses with four different opportunities for promotion.  

The most obvious way to participate is as a vendor.  Free to Chamber members, the Fair offers seventy booths to wellness providers interested in interacting directly with the public to provide information, screenings and giveaways.

Sponsorship is another opportunity.  In exchange for financial support, sponsors receive marketing exposure to attendees as well as the thousands of people who see our print ads, online promotion and website.

Partnership is the third opportunity.  We are grateful to West Cook YMCA, our venue partner, and the Wednesday Journal, our media partner.  We design events to meet partners’ goals as well as ours.

The final opportunity is leadership.  Chamber events are entirely volunteer-run and require community-minded individuals who donate significant time on behalf of their industry.  They work hard while building leadership skills and growing their personal reputation as dedicated, professional and generous individuals.

Shout-out to this year’s Health and Wellness Fair leaders Dr. Mary Ann Bender, Mary Ann Bender Podiatry, and Edward Gutierrez, Rush Oak Park Hospital.  They did a tremendous job leading a team, promoting the wellness industry and supporting local business. Thank you!

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Cathy Yen

Cathy Yen is the Executive Director of the Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce.  She has lived in Oak Park for 21 years and done business locally, first as a retailer and then as a small business...