Residents lined up at a number of booths Saturday inside the Douglass Community Recreation Center. Photo by Heidi Peoples

Rain didn’t deter residents from coming out to learn more about some local services Saturday.

Despite having to cancel outdoor activities, the eighth Everybody Counts event pressed on Manhattan’s Douglass Community Recreation Center. The event offered free health screenings, food assistance and clothing distribution. Event chair Deb Nuss explains the importance of having this event.

“We know that a significant percentage of our population are vulnerable. This is an opportunity to provide them service that they may not be able to access otherwise,” Nuss said.

The Riley County Health Department offered free health screenings at the event for those who may not be able to afford a doctor visit. Included in that were immunizations, back-to-school physicals, STI testing and vision checks, all at no cost.

“That’s the important thing for everyone to know. There’s no income eligibility requirements and everything is free,” Nuss said.

Manhattan Parks & Recreation helps partner with the event each year. Community Relations Officer Melissa Kirkwood says despite the weather it was still well attended.

“The weather we can never predict, but we can predict that we are going to offer this to the community every year. Every year that it’s been it has grown,” Kirkwood said.

Having an event like this she says creates a lot of awareness for those who aren’t sure where to find some of the medical services. Douglass Community Center Director Dave Baker says it’s an event for everyone to get all the services they need in one stop.

This was the eighth time the Everybody Counts event has been held in Manhattan since 2014. It is held the first Saturday in August annually at the Douglass Community Recreation Center.

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