Shawnee expanding annual Reach Into Wellness event with more local vendors

The Reach Into Wellness Retreat has a few vendors each year, but this year will be the first time the city of Shawnee has expanded this component to connect vendors with customers. Photo courtesy city of Shawnee

The city of Shawnee is growing its annual Reach Into Wellness event this month as part of its efforts to encourage healthy and holistic wellness among the community.

Kate Kinkaid and Matt Mann, Shawnee parks and recreation staff charged with managing and coordinating programs, are organizing the Reach Into Wellness Retreat, which takes place Jan. 25 at the Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Drive.

This year, the retreat includes several speakers and sessions on a variety of health and wellness topics such as minimalism, essential oils, hand yoga, and naturopathic and alternative methods for emotional and behavioral support. Cathy Newton, a local author and speaker, will kick off the retreat with a keynote speech on wellness.

“It’s not just diet and fitness, but actually looking at that whole total wellness — your mental wellness, your physical wellness,” Kinkaid said. “A lot of times people focus on working out or eating better, and that’s wonderful for people to do. But this gives you an opportunity to look at all the different aspects of it.”

The day also includes an expanded fair with more than 20 vendors who specialize in several areas of health and wellness, including fitness, naturopathy, nutrition, personality analysis (Enneagram). Mann said that they hope to fill the gap by providing a physical space for local businesses to sell their goods.

“It’s a beginning-of-the-year opportunity to dive into health and wellness, and this year especially, adding that additional point of entry — the fair — for somebody wanting to explore options,” Mann said.

Reach Into Wellness started five years ago with Diane Doolin, a local businesswoman and wellness mentor who leads health and wellness classes. She led a retreat on her own, and then city staff began partnering with her to grow the retreat each year. Doolin will lead a breakout session in the retreat.

Registration costs $30, which covers breakout sessions, lunch, giveaways and admission into the wellness fair. Participants who only want to visit the fair can get tickets for $2 each.