With the rising cost of health care, more than 150 residents took advantage of the first annual health and wellness fair for the Renew Woodmere initiative at the Woodmere Gymnasium in Harvey.

Before all of the vendors could set up, Sam Burras and her two daughters, Brierra and Bria, were the first Woodmere residents to attend the free health fair.

“I came to get the free screenings,” Burras said. “I have health coverage on my job, but I had to get a high deductible because of the cost.”

There were several vendors to inform the residents about their products.

“We are here to let the public know that Winn-Dixie offers over 250 prescription medicines to help the uninsured; some prescriptions are even free,” head pharmacist and manager Janet Raymond said.

Ochsner Hospital performed free blood pressure and glucose screenings. Representatives of West Jefferson Medical Center set up a huge, inflatable colon exhibit, offered an EMS ambulance tour and lectured on breast examination.

The Greater New Orleans Immunization Network’s bus was there to give free immunizations to the children.

Woodmere Civic Association President Fred Nevin said the association was there to oversee voter registration and general membership.

Household of Faith Family Worship Church participated with a performance by its choir. Renew Woodmere is an organization focused on the restoration and revitalization of the subdivision of Woodmere in Harvey.

“My primary goals are promoting safety, beautification, code enforcement, community health and wellness, and quality of education afforded to the children of Woodmere,” Senior Director Jerry Harrell Jr. said.

Harrell said there are more than 13,000 residents and 3,500 households in Woodmere, one of the state’s largest subdivisions.

For more information about Renew Woodmere, visit renewwoodmere.org, call (504) 606-2744 or send email to Jerry Harrell at renewwoodmere@gmail.com.

Fire company blood drive

The Marrero Estelle Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 will hold a blood drive on Monday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 2248 Barataria Blvd., Marrero. The public is invited.

Donors will receive the choice of the new “Duck Dynasty” style T-shirt or family blood coverage from the Heart Club. For information, call Carolyn Douglas at (504) 349-5585.

Friends of Culture health fair

Friends of Culture in collaboration with Servant’s Heart Outreach Center will mark Caribbean American Heritage Month with a health fair, “Your Wellness and You,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7 at 1425 Walkertown Way, Marrero.

For information, call Marilyn LaForce at (504) 220-8441.

Bunco at Café Hope

Café Hope will host its second annual Bunco for Hope fundraiser on June 22 at 4 p.m. at Café Hope, 1101 Barataria Blvd., Marrero.

Popcorn and drinks will be available upon arrival, and dinner will be served at half-time of the game. Tickets must be purchased in advance at Café Hope. For information, call (504) 756-HOPE (4673) or Paris Chiasson at Budget Saver, (504) 349-9075. The cost is $20 per person.

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at ydeshazier@gmail.com or call (504) 367-0905.