Brownwood mayor Stephen Haynes and mayor pro tem Draco Miller attended the annual Spring Into Health Fair at Howard Payne University on Tuesday morning, giving brief remarks as the fair got started.   

The fair featured health screenings, games, booths, food and activities to promote a holistic healthy lifestyle. The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center brought puppies for the students to hold, Damsel in Defense demonstrated safety items like pepper spray and the Howard Payne baseball coaching staff was on hand with a radar gun to measure throwing speeds.   

The booths featured information and resources for maintaining physical, emotional and mental health.   

Haynes helped kick off the program with remarks from a platform in the middle of the fair, which was set up on the Center Ave. walkway on HPU’s campus. Haynes touched on the important, symbiotic relationship between the city and the university and the benefits of a healthy life.   

“It’s something that should be important to you very early in life,” Haynes said. “Preventative healthcare is really the key. The more you can do to stay healthy early and to get the preventative healthcare you need, the more profitable and successful you’ll be, in addition to just being happier.”   

Miller echoed Haynes’s words about the partnership between HPU and the City of Brownwood. “Howard Payne is very important to our community here,” Miller said. “It’s an icon to our community.”   

Haynes and Miller said Howard Payne graduates have always been an important part of Brownwood, and said the city hopes to retain more of them in the future.   

The fair was organized this year by Teresa Cavitt, an HPU graduate student in the sport and wellness leadership, or SWELL, program. Cavitt coordinated the event as part of an event-planning class in the program.   

“We’re trying to get all seven dimensions of health and wellness,” Cavitt said of the fair. “Environmental, occupational, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical.”   

Cavitt said she’s pleased with the way the fair came together. She gave special thanks to her SWELL professors Dr. Graham Hatcher and Dr. Rick Beelby. “I’m just thankful that Howard Payne as a campus recognizes the importance of health and wellness,” Cavitt said, “not only in the obvious dimensions, but ones like the spiritual.   

“I’m just thankful for a campus that embraces that,” she said.