Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Connect with community in healthy ways

There are plenty of chances in the next few weeks for you to strengthen your health, learn something new and contribute to the local health and wellness community. Among the many events coming up:

  • Fredericksburg Fitness will host a visit by Olympian Kellie  Wells, who won a bronze in the 100-meter hurdles in London this summer. Wells, a Virginia native, outran teammate Lolo Jones to capture the medal. Her visit coincides with the fitness center’s grand opening celebration Sept. 8.  Wells will be there from noon to 4 p.m, according to a press release. The center is at 2553 Cowan Blvd. in Fredericksburg.
  • Only Choice Home Health Care Agency will host a community health expo Sept. 7 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., at 3330 Bourbon Street in Fredericksburg, in the Sylvania building lobby. According to a press release, health department employees will conduct blood pressure screenings, and people from several health-related businesses — including Lizz Creative Juices and American Family Fitness — will be on hand.
  • A local vegetarian group will hold a potluck lunch Sept. 1 at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend, and all are encouraged to bring a vegetarian dish and a recipe to share. The group meets the first Saturday of each month, excluding the summer months, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg at 25 Chalice Circle in south Stafford, near the Butler Road YMCA.
  • Thrive, The Healing Center, will mark its one-year anniversary with an awareness event and fundraiser on Sept. 7 from 6-9 p.m. Thrive promotes wellness through support groups, counseling, yoga and more. Its services are geared toward women, especially those experiencing transitions or trauma. The fundraiser at the Olde Silk Mill will feature music, food and a chance to learn more about the non-profit’s services. Visit or call 540/361-1331 for details. Tickets cost $35 in advance, $40 at the door.
  • The Grace Oughton Memorial 5K run on Sept. 9 will raise money for the Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation, named for a Caroline County girl who died at age 3 from neuroblastoma, an aggressive kind of cancer.  The race will start at 8:30 a.m. at Patriot Park in Spotsylvania County. You can register and get  more information at

To learn about other upcoming health-related events, be sure to get the free Healthy Life Virginia newsletter. You can sign up here.