Today (1/10/2015) was a fun day in DC for me! It was the local NBC Channel 4 News station’s annual Health and Fitness Expo! It was the first time that I have been able to attend. This is one of those great events that is held in a great spot, providing helpful information, fun and it’s free!
It was a cold (low 20’s) day and there is still snow on the ground from our first day of snow; but it was rare beautiful sunny winter day. I ventured out into the District (it is always hard for me to call this a city) in my NY Giants gear, my DC Statehood pin and my Delta Sigma Theta backpack. I love to be a walking billboard when I go to events like this. It’s a good way to meet people they just can’t help but comment on what you have on. “So you’re a Giant’s fan?” “Yes – DC Statehood!”
The Health and Fitness Expo was a fun event and full of exciting things to do. It was nice to see so much of the community attending. There were lots of families and community groups. I LOVE seeing the community out at events like this. It really gives me fuel for my work. It makes it concrete that lives are changing and that DC is a wonderful community.
Doreen Genztler one of the NBC4 week-day evening anchors has done a fabulous job hosting this event. Her passion for health and the community shines through her work. I am especially grateful for her initiative, drive and passion with the series and special project of NBC4 titled “Changing Minds”! The goal of the project is to tell the story of those who have Mental Illness and get information out to the community about supports and services available to them. She and the team have done amazing stories that get the information out that people with Mental Illness can live successful lives and be an active part of our community.
Changing Minds is not all about successes. They have shown the challenges that many individuals, families and communities face when dealing with Mental Illness. They have connected groups to people and from what I hear from advocates this project is doing well. So much of the media that is out there around Mental Illness is negative, it is nice to see a media campaign that is uplifting and creating value to the lives of people with Mental Illness. At the expo they had a wonderful section dedicated to the Changing Minds project with some great organizations from around the DVM at the vendor booths.My main goal for attending was to take my WIYATT to another level. I wanted to interact with the NBC4 Team! As I continuously state I am a “news junkie” and now with Social Media, Twitter in this case, I have been able to develop a fun relationship with this team. Over the past few years I follow almost all of this team, and I RT, FAV, send them policy information and have some fun chats with them. Most of the time the connections are fun filled but sometimes I do have a nice debate with them.
Prior to the expo I was sending Tweets out to advocates about the event and the importance of going. Yes the health information is important and believe me I take my healthcare seriously so I did go to a number of booths and learned a great deal. But honestly for me the reason I went was to meet as many members of the NBC4 News team as I could. And I had a blast doing it!
For me this event was kind of like going to “comic-con” or the NBA All-star game week parties (which I have done NYC-1998) and getting autographs from your favorite character/writer/player! I hang out with friends and spot a newscaster/anchor etc. and say “hi” with a smile. I then let them know that I Tweet them – many have replied with saying my handle or my name (Dara). It’s fun! Once they walk away, all my friends ask “who is that?” and I rattle off that’s so-and-so and they do (type of news) on such-in-such channel/network! This is another perk and great extra for me living in DC. ALL of the networks have a station here in DC and all those news people are actively involved in the social life here.
My friends laugh at me, because I rarely know a “TV star” if I see them in person, because I don’t watch TV shows. I only have cable so I can watch all the news networks. So for me, meeting a news person is like one of them meeting (you fill it in). I don’t watch award shows either. I may watch the “Red Carpet”. So for me, going to the NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo today and meeting the team was like one of them attending the Golden Globes and meeting their favorite star.
I got on the line for autographs and waited my turn. As I said, I have met a few of them before, and the first one behind the booth was Tom Sherwood. Tom and I go way back so it was good to see him. Next was Richard Jordan, whom I have met while he was shopping but that was before we became Twitter buddies! Then I met Tisha Thompson we had a great connection. Then it was Aaron Gilchrist. This was my first time meeting him and I gave him a “shivered” shoulder because he has never RT’d or Fav’d me. He said he had to look out for me, it seems the rest of the team know you☺
A little later I got to meet Eun Yang. She was just getting to the booth and I just said thank you for all the RT’s and Fav’s and she was so welcoming and warm and said “Oh my! You’re Dara!” and then gave me a hug! IT WAS FABULOUS! We didn’t have a chance to take a picture but I will get her the next time.
I did get one selfie with Erika Gonzalez! She was a lot of fun! The only downside of my day was that I did not get to meet and take a picture with my FAV girl Angie Goff or the great host Doreen Gentzler! But I did say hello to Angie, and she waved back! No worries, we will meet and I will get my pics with both of them one day in 2015!
Then I headed over to the Storm Team’s van! WOW! It was really cool. I am an even worse weather nerd! The past few winters have hit DC hard, well hard for this area. They shut the District down for the smallest amount of snow. This Jersey girl is use to going to work in the snow. But I do enjoy those snow days! Siting in front of my TV, hot coffee, some good food and watching the NBC4 Team with the Storm Team – priceless. Now with Twitter being more a part of the news I can follow and see all the Pat Collins Snow Stick contestants. In case you didn’t know the stick has its own Twitter handle @PatsSnowStick and it’s hilariously fun!
NBC4 DC News Team THANK YOU for a great community event and for making this news junkie’s day!
Day 2 of the Health and Fitness Expo is 1/11/2015 -9:00am -4:00pm!
Follow action: Get the NBC App, on Twitter: @nbchealthexpo –hashtags: #NBCHealthexpo and #Healthyselfie
My Twitter is: @NJDC07 and now on Instagram: NJDC07
Thanks for reading, please leave comments and tell all about the WIYATT!