RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph Municipal Alliance Council ( MAC ) organization is dedicated to promoting and supporting programs for the community on drug and alcohol prevention and education programs, mental health, substance use, vaping, and healthy relationships; as well as supporting the Stigma Free initiative in town.
The organization held their first ever “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” event at the Randolph Community Center on Saturday May 4. The community-wide family event was a showcase for healthy living, featuring a variety of programs and resources for family physical and mental well-being.
“During our MAC meetings we discuss topics surrounding mental health, substance abuse, and overall healthy lifestyles; we are always looking for ways to raise awareness and help connect our community to local resources that can help in these areas of need,” Said Committee member David Timpanaro. “During one of these discussions, I made a suggestion for the MAC to hold a health and wellness fair. The idea grew and became the Health Body, Healthy Mind Expo. This allowed us to connect our community with the local resources in one place for all needs ranging from a healthy lifestyles, diet, pain assistance, behavioral health for children, school services, and mental health for children, families, and adults.”
Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph, The Max Challenge, and Randolph YMCA were among the group of 30 vendors and businesses who set up tables to help educate residents on their products and services, all of which were part of promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“We were cautiously optimistic leading up to the event, and were very pleased with the level of interest of local businesses who wanted to exhibit,” said MAC member Kate Olsakowski. “Once signs went up around town we had many calls from people seeking to join the vendor list, we were ecstatic.”
Event highlights included demonstrations of mindfulness yoga and meditation, fitness programs, healthy eating and cooking demonstrations; along with information on group activities in the area such as bike clubs, community garden club, and more.
Some vendors brought interactive services to enhance the attendee experience. The YMCA had a Zumba instructor visit to run some small group sessions, while Athletic Republic held did a small “Boot Camp” class in an adjacent room. Meditation and Yoga breakout sessions were also part of the afternoon events.
Randolph Township Health Department was also on hand sharing information on the many programs supported by and provided by the town. Randolph Police Officers Rich Biase and Mike Rispoli were on hand with their “Coffee With A Cop” promotion.
“The number of visitors who were able to attend and walk through the hall was consistent and surpassed the committee's expectations,” said Olsakowski. “The feedback from the vendors was that they were pleased with the exposure they received and would like to join us in future endeavors. It was fantastic to see our community members of all ages learning together.”
The event was planned as a stand-alone for the Spring of 2019 only, and the committee has not yet decided as to whether or not they will make it an annual event.
The MAC members who lent their ideas and participation are:
Kate Olsakowski- MAC Coordinator
Elizabeth Ritter- Chair
Officer Richard Biase- Police Department Liaison
Dr. MaryAlice Thomas- Randolph Schools Liaison