Best of Barrow, cook-off to help needy families

WINDER - The Christmas season and the cold and flu season are just around the corner. At the Best Of Barrow Health and Human Resources Fair, people can help needy families with Christmas presents and get free health screenings all in one location.

The seventh annual fair features exhibits from more than 30 community agencies, organizations and health care providers. Free blood pressure and blood sugar testing, cardio, cholesterol and chiropractic spinal screenings, as well as $25 flu shots will be offered on site at the Winder Community Center on East Athens Street.

Winder police officers will focus on educating the public about impaired driving.

"We have impaired driving simulation goggles that let a driver replicate driving under the influence," said Lt. Dennis Dorsey, Winder Police Department

This year's goal is twofold - to educate the public about the health and human services available in Barrow County and to gather toys and financial assistance for needy families.

"We service about 1,000 children, so our financial goal is $10,000," said Jennifer Cantwell, executive director of Barrow County Family Connection/Communities in Schools, the coordinating agency.

Thursday's fair will feature the first chili cookoff. Eleven teams will compete for awards for best tasting chili, best presentation and people's choice, judged by Winder Mayor Buddy Ouzts, Barrow County Commissioner Billy Brown and radio personality Martha Zoller.

Everyone attending the fair will receive one free chili taste ticket. Anyone donating a new toy to Holiday Connection will receive four free chili tasting tickets. Otherwise, $1 buys four chili taste tickets.

Holiday Connection is a subcommittee of BCFC/CIS, a countywide clearing house that assists needy families during the holidays. BCFC/CIS is a coalition of schools and various public, private, nonprofit and social service organizations dedicated to helping families and children.

n What: Best of Barrow: Health and Human Resources Fair

•Where: Winder Community Center

•When: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday

•Cost: Free admission