Billed as a "Fun and Informative Day", the Senior Citizens Expo 2012 held recently at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe drew an overflow crowd and more than lived up to the billing.
The second annual event was sponsored by Sen. David C. Argall, 29th District; Rep. Doyle Heffley, 122nd District; and Sen. John T. Yudichak, 14th District. Numerous exhibitors from local, county, and state agencies were on hand to inform seniors on the types of services available to them.
Over 1,000 attendees visited over 65 vendors covering every aspect of senior living from home health care, to insurance, to government programs. Attendance was free and open to the public, a free lunch was served, and door prizes were awarded throughout the day.
Among the services provided were glaucoma screenings, compliments of Community Services for Sight; oximetry tests, compliments of Health Solutions, Inc.; free assessments provided by St. Luke's Physical Therapy; and free blood pressure screening and flu shots, compliments of Blue Mountain Health System.
Dave Shallcross, community liason for the Office of Pennsylvania's Attorney General, presented a "Senior Crime Prevention University" to make Pennsylvania's senior citizens aware of the threat of fraud and scams. He showed how to avoid being victimized, and to make sure local law enforcement are alerted. The theme of the Senior Crime Prevention Outreach is "AWARE, AVOID, ALERT."
Doug Hassenbein, Assistant, Investor Education Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, explained how the commission regulates the investment industry. Persons planning to work with an investment professional, such as a stockbroker or retirement planner, can call 1-800-600-0007 to confirm if that professional is properly registered. A background report about the person can show if there are any discipline or complaints.
It's important to "Investigate Before you Invest" to avoid the investment scams that are out there.
A Voter ID Education Program presented by Carol Aichele, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, discussed what types of ID can be used at the polls, the process for getting a free photo ID, and what to expect from the upcoming media campaign this fall.
Rep. Heffley was pleased with the tremendous turnout and thanked everyone for coming out.
"I congratulate the staffs – between my district offices, Sen. Argall and Sen. Yudichak's staffs – working together across party lines to put a great event on for the seniors," Heffley said.
"Its about working for people, not about the party. I think that it really shows what we can accomplish when we work together. Last year we had close to a thousand people and I would definitely think that we surpassed that this year. We have more vendors than we did the year before, more sponsors, so its definitely something that has grown," he added.
"We're very pleased with the large turnout, our goal is to offer senior citizens a variety of services all under one roof and we're very pleased by another successful event," Sen. Argall said.
Sen. Yudichak noted that it was the second annual Carbon County Senior Expo.
"Sen. Argall, Rep. Heffley, and I are also here with representatives of Congressmen Barletta, Senator Toomey, and Senator Casey," Yudichak said.
He said that government should work together, and not be worried about party affiliation, in order to help seniors. He also noted that vendors and a lot of great sponsors also all came together to make the event a success.
"All told, I think that we had about 1,100 people come out and that's wonderful," he said. "The folks need the help in a a tough economy and we need to get them the assistance they need."
Among the many vendors present were, Blue Mountain Health System; Saint Luke's; Carbon County Area Agency on Aging; Highmark Blue Shield; Caregivers America; AARP Pennsylvania; Shepher House, Inc.; BAYADA Home Health Care to name just a few.
Sponsors included Redner's Warehouse Markets; Masser Potato Farms; OHL; Bayer's; St.Lukes Miners Campus; Mauch Chunk Trust Company; Blue Mountain Health System; Jim Thorpe National Bank; Mallard Markets; and Country Harvest.