MARRQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Today was the Marquette County Community Resource Fair. Open to the pubic, the fair aims to give Yoopers an opportunity to learn what resources are available to them when it comes to their personal and family health needs and concerns. Melissa Holmquist, CEO of Upper Peninsula Health Plan says it’s about making sure the public is informed on how they can get help.
“We have so many organizations committed to serving our vulnerable populations and those in need so I think it’s a great opportunity to be informed.” Holmquist says, “Maybe you don’t need help today, maybe you’ll need help tomorrow, or maybe you know someone who needs assistance.”
The fair started back in 2018 with UP health plan and UP health care solutions as a way to address gaps in assistance. In the past 5 years the event has grown so much, it had to relocate to The Superior Dome to accommodate the 80 plus organizations that were in attendance. With organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, and UPHP and UPHCS, The Resource Fair operates to connect those in need with organizations that can help them.
Amy Poirier is the director of community relations and marketing at Great Lakes Recovery Center, she says it’s also a great opportunity for the organizations to talk with each other.
“I’ve had so many one on one conversations with people,” Poirier says, “Just talking about them and were they are personally, talking about some of our services, so many good things can come out of a day like today.”
With more vendors, this year’s Resource Fair offered services that operate across The UP, not just in Marquette County so business and nonprofits get the chance to interact with the community and educate on opportunities to give back. Holly Michelin is the program coordinator with United Way of Marquette County, She sat at a booth for Yoopers United, a volunteer organization that allows those who want to help find opportunities to give back.
“We always say it’s a great community because it’s always Yoopers helping Yoopers and they never hesitate to give back,” Michelin says, “sometimes people just don’t necessarily know how”
The CEO of UP Health Plan says this years Resource Fair was bigger than it’s ever been, hundreds of Yoopers were able to benefit form the organizations at the event, and they’re excited to keep hosting the event for years to come.