Every year, the Coppell Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Community Wellness Expo, which was held this year at the Coppell Arts Center on August 21. After skipping last year because of COVID, the Chamber ended up across the lawn from the Coppell Farmer's Market, and each event received curious residents from the other.
“I've been with the Chamber for three years,” said Ellie Braxton-Leveen, President and CEO of Coppell Chamber of Commerce. “So, [this Expo] has been going on since I’ve been here. Normally we [have the Expo] on the grounds over there right beside the Farmer's Market, but the Farmer's Market is using the lawns this year because of COVID. The City put us over here on the Arts Center property, but normally we're not over here. But it’s worked out because people can see us from the Farmer's Market and come over to see what’s going on and vice-versa."
She explained that the Coppell Chamber, like most Chambers of Commerce, is owned by the member businesses, who pay membership fees so they can be part of events such as this.
“A lot of people think we're part of the city, but we're not. We have a great working relationship with them, though. We're governed by the members of our organization. We're managed by them. So, everything we do serves the interests of the business community," Braxton-Leveen said.
Coppell actually has many businesses that focus on health and wellness, but many residents don't know about them.
"These businesses support the hospitals and other healthcare entities that serve the people around us. So, we promote them annually to give them an opportunity to meet the people in the community," she said.
“In the past, attendance has been 200 or 300 because it was done in conjunction with a 5k run. Last year, we didn’t have the Expo because of COVID, and this year we can’t do the 5k,” Braxton-Leveen said.
That didn't prevent residents from coming by and checking out what was offered.
Tabitha Williams, who was shopping at the Farmer's Market with her husband and daughter, noticed the tents across the lawn and came over to see what was going on.
“I just saw the tents when I was at the Farmer's Market, and I thought it was a part of the Farmer's Market, so I just came over. I’m glad I did,” she said.
“It's good to know what's available in the community so that we don't have to drive to different cities for certain things. I did learn about a few places that were here that I didn't know about. I even found a new pediatrician. And I really like the diversity here,” Williams said.
There were 15-20 businesses represented at the Expo, most from Coppell and Irving. There were chiropractors, self-defense and fitness businesses, and even a massage company that provided free 10-minute massages to attendees.
Business owner Stephen Walker, who is a periodontist, represented one of the businesses that came out and pitched a tent.
“We came out to kind of show people what we can offer them,” said Walker. “It's a health Expo, so we figured it might be a good idea to come out. We are also Chamber members. We've been around for about eight years in Coppell," he said.
He also said that he was glad the Expo went on this year because many people aren't aware of what Coppell has to offer with regards to health and wellness.
“We are here to promote dental health. The general public doesn’t realize that their dental health is important because it can affect your overall health. It does. We've had a few people that have been interested, taking some cards, and asking about some dental implants and things like that. It’s been good so far,” said Walker.
The Chamber of Commerce handed out tote bags and the participating businesses filled them with giveaways as people visited their booths.
Braxton-Leveen said that she hopes that the Expo can go on as planned next year, but that all depends on what happens with COVID rules.
“We don’t want people coming to a Health and Wellness Expo without complying with COVID mandates and such. That would defeat the whole purpose,” she said.
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