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Hundreds of Pahrump students benefit from Back to School Health Fair

The last few weeks of summer vacation are quickly slipping by and for hundreds of Pahrump area students facing a new school year, they are now better prepared to take on the scholastic challenges ahead thanks to the Desert View Hospital Back to School Health Fair.

Physical fitness and mental health are obviously of major importance for school-age children but no less important are the material supplies that are necessary for a student to perform well in class. Fortunately, both of these needs were seen to during the July 21 Back to School Health Fair, where medical screenings and services, along with a huge array of school supplies, were provided free of charge to the throngs of attendees.

Desert View Hospital Marketing Director Gretchen Papez said the attendance was on par with previous years, with 446 students, along with their family members, heading out last Saturday morning.

“A wide range of community organizations participated in the 2018 Back to School Fair,” Papez explained. “The Nye County School District and its transportation division were on hand to answer questions and help students sign up for bus transportation. The Nye County Sheriff’s Auxiliary offered free fingerprinting and educational handouts. Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue sent cool sprays of water into the air and the Pahrump Valley Rotary Club cooked up about 800 hot dogs. DJ Walter Turner added a festive touch with music for all ages, and students were encouraged to have their face painted or experience the DUI simulator.”

The total impact of the event was detailed, with $1,225 in cash donations, including $1,000 from American First National Bank and $225 from Saitta Trudeau. These funds were used to purchase backpacks for students with 634 total book bags available for distribution that morning, all donated by Desert View Hospital, Desert Radiology, Med-Smart, Big 5, Iris Beauty Salon, The Office bar, formerly known as Wingz ‘n’ Thingz and through a grant secured by the NyE Communities Coalition.

“The Ms. Senior Golden Years ladies once again served as our official event greeters and a total of 31 community groups and businesses provided school supplies, giveaways and important literature,” a news release on the event detailed, noting that the donated items amounted to, “Countless pounds of school supplies, from binders, notebooks and loose-leaf paper to glue sticks, erasers, crayons and rulers.”

In addition to the distribution of school supplies, there were 88 dental screenings performed by Dr. Dawn Green, who also handed out 144 tubes of toothpaste, 144 toothbrushes and 72 oral mirrors. There were 78 vision screenings conducted by Nevada Eye and 58 immunizations administered by the Pahrump community nurse and team. Fifty-five students took advantage of the free sports physicals provided by HealthCare Partners, Desert View Hospital and the Valley Hospital System. Valley Electric Association also contributed with a donation of 2,000 bottles of water, helping ensure attendees stayed hydrated.

“To me, this event defines how much our community cares about our children,” Susan Davila, CEO of Desert View Hospital, stated. “Each year, countless volunteers spend part of their weekend helping students prepare for a new school year. We have amazing community partners who cook hot dogs, play music, keep the kids cool, provide free physicals and screenings, offer immunizations, purchase school supplies, and donate money to purchase more school supplies and backpacks.”

Any remaining school supplies will be distributed to Nye County schools, including those in Amargosa and Beatty, through the NyE Communities Coalition, the release noted.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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