The community came in droves to take part in this year’s Stress Free Holiday Fair hosted by the Ayuda Network Inc. and its sponsors.
The event was held last Saturday at the Garapan Central Park. The holiday fair is usually held at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in past years, but due to the counting of absentee ballots for the election, Ayuda Network had to relocate the venue.
Chielo Sayas, an attendee, said, “It feels good to be here. Despite the loud music, I still find myself relaxed. I particularly liked the Zumba [exercise], although I didn’t participate.”
Saturday night marked the 10-year celebration of the holiday fair. Usually an annual event for women, technicalities were altered to combine the event with the Family Caregivers Awareness Month celebration in order to incorporate the giving of baskets to family caregivers.
Diana Camacho, executive director for Ayuda Network and director for the Commonwealth respite service program, said, “It’s kind of rowdy here tonight. Usually the stress free event indulges mothers, sisters-in-law, or grandmas for all their support in their family’s lives and participating in our activities year-round. So we tend to give them some time to unwind before the Christmas season.”
The event included teaching participants how to wrap gifts, make mwars, as well as offered haircuts and nail treatments along with entertainment.
“We’re impressed! The crowd is getting bigger and bigger each year, not necessarily in mothers but in sisters-in-law and ladies, even kids. Tonight we had a children’s corner provided by the Division of Youth Services that allowed parents to not have to worry about their children and just unwind,” Camacho said. “On behalf of the Ayuda Network and all our partners supporting us, we would like to give our thanks to everyone tonight for participating in the event. Also, the Family Caregiver’s Awareness Month is about health as well. Family caregivers should take care, to give care for our family members.” (Michael T. Santos)