OKEECHOBEE -- After countless hours of planning, and then executing, on the part of those who made the 2022 Annual Health and Safety Expo/Touch a Truck Event possible, the team met for a wrap up session at Beef O Brady's this week.
The 14th annual Okeechobee Health and Safety Expo took place in March this year, and was attended by approximately 2,000.
There were about 75 different vendors including but not limited to Raulerson Hospital, mammogram bus, One Blood, the Platelet Bus, Okeechobee County Fire Rescue, Okeechobee City Police Department, Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office and Okeechobee Correctional Institution. There were yoga and Zumba classes, face painting, fire demonstrations, K9 demonstrations and even a clown.
In the Touch a Truck line up, Alex TiJerina brought in fire trucks, Florida Power and Light trucks, police cars, dump trucks, garbage trucks, cranes, a helicopter and more.
There were so many freebies and giveaways that families came out to the Touch A Truck area with their arms loaded, said Tijerina.
Chuck Akers, who enjoys organizing the event every year said there were so many people helping with so many different things it is hard to list everyone. His CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Team took care of directing the parking. Fire Fighter Donny Arnold organizes the food every year and said there is a team who handles packaging the meals up. "You should just stand back, because they really know what they are doing and work fast," he said. "There were only three of them, Chris Weeks, Brian Anderson and Tracy Downing, and they had it down to a science."
The meeting at Beef O Brady's was partially to thank those who worked so hard to make the event happen and partially to brainstorm for next year. The ideas flew back and forth across the tables as each team member came up with ideas to help make the next event even better. Plan on attending next year, this time in January. You won't regret it.
Akers expressed appreciation for all the volunteers, donors and vendors. "We couldn't have done it without you. "
If you are interested in being a vendor next year or if you'd just like to volunteer to help somewhere, you can talk to Akers at 772-260-9026, by email at email@example.com or Arnold at 863-634-6464. They are always open to new ideas and new volunteers.