By Laurie Hindman
The 9News Health Fair, sponsored by the Berthoud Lions Club, has been coming to Berthoud for 25 years; but this year it almost didn’t make it. The health fair has traditionally been held at Berthoud High School free of charge. This year though, they were told the facility use fee would be about $1,000, an astronomical amount for the small, non-profit Lions Club.
“We would have had to cancel or move it out of town,” said Lions Club member and health fair site coordinator Claudia Todd. Todd explained that due to the high number of attendees, anywhere from 400 to 800 annually, there is no other facility in Berthoud that could accommodate the event. “The high school is a perfect match — a lot of rooms and a lot of parking.”
Fortunately, the district was willing to rework the fee, lowering it to just $100, the cost of custodian services, eliminating facility use fee. “We recognize what a benefit the 9News Health Fair is to the Berthoud community,” said Nancy Hunt, Thompson School District’s Manager of Facility Usage. Hunt explained that the school district uses a formula to determine the facility fee, which includes janitorial services, utilities, supplies, and risk management insurance.
There are four levels to the fee structure: non-profit, district related activities such as Berthoud Elementary’s fall carnival; non-profit community activities such as scouts or athletics; for-profit activities, and district activities.
“Unfortunately, the 9News Health Fair is listed as a for-profit organization,” said Hunt. “We have tried to get them to apply for a non-profit status, but that hasn’t happened.” She said the Loveland community was able to easily move the health fair from a school to McKee Medical Center. Hunt, who is also a member of the Berthoud Chamber and lives in between Berthoud and Loveland said she knew Berthoud didn’t have the option of other venues.
“While we have set fee structures for facility use we needed to make an exception in this case,” said Hunt. “Berthoud has exceptional circumstances.”
Todd said she was grateful the district was able to work with the Lions Club. “The benefit to the community is huge. Each year we have people who discover they have some serious health issue that needs attention. The health fair serves such an important purpose.”