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Health fair boasts multicultural flair
The emphasis has always been on health. But on Sunday, the seventh annual Yuba Sutter Multi-National Family Health Fair truly began to resemble its name.
Spanish-speaking students from Gray Avenue Middle School's Career and Colleges Club ran a face-painting and arts and crafts booth, a new Punjabi volunteer group served Indian food, and the entertainment lineup included music and dance from across the region.
"We say it's multicultural, so I want it to be multicultural," said Angel Diaz, who chaired the committee tasked with staging this year's event at the Richland Housing area in Yuba City.
A flu shot clinic was part of the usual array of services and resources offered at the event, which is sponsored by the North Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and several local businesses.
Free medical and dental screenings and prenatal services, as well as informational booths, were part of the usual, serious features.
But several youth groups were hard at work on Sunday to help make the event more festive.
A marching band from River Valley High School played pop hits new and old. The traditional drumming, dancing and costume spectacle of Ballet Folklorica enlivened the scene, and SEVA — made up of teenagers and young adults from the region's Punjabi community — brought their own flavor to the mostly Mexican-American housing complex.
"We all just get together, help make the food, and go serve it," said Sandeep Johal, 24, of Yuba City. "It's part of our culture to give back to the community and help support the less fortunate."
At the Gray Avenue Middle School booth, Soraya Mojica, 11, Maritza Silva, 11, and Juan Cruz, 13, greeted small children and helped set them up to make Halloween crafts or chatted with them during face-painting sessions.
The fair represented their first taste of community volunteerism.
"We're helping people, and having fun," Soraya said.
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at email@example.com or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.