Acrylic painting, guided meditation and floral arranging sound like the makings of a relaxing vacation.
Instead, they were activities that made up a few of the more than 20 workshops employees participated in last week as part of Brock’s Wellness Day.
More than 480 employees registered for the annual event, with workshops such as outlet mall shopping, chocolate decorating, progressive euchre tournament, escape room games and a Rodman Hall garden tour filled to capacity.
The day kicked off at 7:30 a.m. with a complimentary breakfast in Market Hall followed by opening remarks in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.
Boomer the Badger and Librarian Ian Gordon got energy levels rising by leading the large crowd in a sing-along to the Neil Diamond classic Sweet Caroline.
“The enthusiasm in the audience was so great to see,” said Kathryn Walker, Manager, Health Management and Wellness. “People were on their feet, clapping their hands and singing at the top of their lungs. It was a great way to begin the day.”
Karen McAllister-Kenny, Director of Youth Programs, was awarded the second annual Health, Safety and Wellness Champion award and Rachael Bujtas, Administrative Assistant with Recreation and Leisure Studies, won the Green Shield Canada bike raffle.
The opening plenary speaker, Roxanne Derhodge, shared her experiences with being authentic and emphasized being good to others, connecting with family and stopping to think about how we feel internally.
She encouraged employees to picture five images in their minds that make them happy, find photos of them and store them in a file on their computer desktop. When feeling out of sorts, employees can reference the images to help change their mood.
Before heading off to their respective workshops, employees picked up a reusable Wellness Day bag and purchased tickets for the annual Penny Sale, which boasted more than 60 prizes and raised $3,165 this year for a non-endowed student award supporting wellness.
“Wellness Day would not be possible without the continued support of our sponsors,” said Walker.
“Most people are familiar with our Penny Sale contributors and that Green Shield Canada annually donates a bike we raffle off. They may not know that Deloitte and the Ontario Teachers’ Insurance Plan both donated $1,000 as gold level sponsors and Scotiabank donated $250 as a bronze sponsor.”
Wellness Day participants were emailed a link to an online survey last week and are encouraged to fill it out.
“This was the first year we hosted the majority of workshops off campus, offered breakfast instead of lunch and eliminated a closing plenary,” said Walker. “The feedback we receive from the surveys will help guide planning for next year — our 20th annual Wellness Day.”