Free, fun and informative, Senior Expo gets set for 15th incarnation

Pharmacist Robin Baker literally makes a point with J.R. Cramer, of Huntington, at the Walgreen’s booth at last year’s Huntington County Senior Expo at the Huntington University Merillat Physical Education Recreation Center. This year’s event takes place Thursday, May 23, again at Huntington University.
Pharmacist Robin Baker literally makes a point with J.R. Cramer, of Huntington, at the Walgreen’s booth at last year’s Huntington County Senior Expo at the Huntington University Merillat Physical Education Recreation Center. This year’s event takes place Thursday, May 23, again at Huntington University. TAB file photo.

The operative words are “free, “fun” and “informative” when the Huntington County Council on Aging presents its 15th annual Huntington County Senior Expo on Thursday, May 23, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Huntington University Merillat Physical Education Center.
Featuring free admission, the expo includes free breakfast, free lunch and free snacks, encouraging visitors to stick around for a while to experience some fun and get some information.
An estimated crowd of 1,400 attended the 2018 version of the expo last year, notes Dick Murray, Huntington County Council on Aging assistant director. The group is looking for a similar-sized crowd this year.
Visitors will have 90 booths to view this year in the spacious confines of the HU fieldhouse, one of several reasons that Murray sees as an advantage for the local event.
“We have the space around to have as many people as we can. That’s big,” says Murray.
The first 400 visitors in line will receive a free breakfast sponsored by Oakbrook Village from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. A free morning snack sponsored by Tipton Place Senior Living will be available from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a free lunch sponsored by Miller’s Merry Manor from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If that’s not enough, there will be an afternoon snack sponsored by Heritage Pointe Communities from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Entertainment will be provided throughout the event, with Gordy Clemens as master of ceremonies.
“Cap’n Bob” kicks off the live fare starting at 8:10 a.m. and performing through 8:50, to be followed by the Crestview Middle School eighth grade band from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The Crestview seventh grade band will perform from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and the Alley Kats dance troupe will strut its stuff from 10:50 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.
Clemens, well-known in this area for his Elvis Presley tribute, will don his “King” costume and perform from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m., with the Crestview band following from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Ballroom dancers will step lively from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Music will be played during the breaks and door prizes will be announced.
The Joy Pleasers Clown Ministry will circulate throughout the crowd to entertain as well.
There are several medical screenings planned as well.
Huntington Chiropractic Center will be performing posture screening, and the Huntington County Health Department will do weight and oxygen checks. Miller’s Merry Manor will do blood pressure, oxygen and pulse checks. Parkview Behavioral Health will do stress tests and anxiety and depressions screenings.
As has been the case at the previous expos, a Senior Expo Passport sponsored by Wild Wednesday
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 movie sponsors will be available to encourage visitors to circulate to as many booths as possible to qualify for the drawing of gift cards.
A passport document with each exhibit listed will be offered to each attendee when they enter the fieldhouse. Exhibitors will then “stamp” the cards of visitors. Anyone with at least half of their cards stamped can bring their passport to the event management booth to be entered in a separate drawing for one of 12 gift card worth $50. Only one gift card per attendee will be awarded. Those gift cards will be drawn by a local business leader after the expo.
The Huntington County Sheriff’s Department will have a drop box for unwanted or expired prescription mediations. This is the seventh time for this service. The sheriff’s department booth will be No. 2.
The Huntington City Fire Department will provide the services of a safety officer to help provide a safe environment for visitors and exhibitors. The fire department will be in booth No. 41.
Corporate sponsors of the event are Heartland REMC, Heritage Pointe Communities, Huntington Heating and Cooling Inc., Markle Health & Rehabilitation, Miller’s Merry Manor, Myers Funeral Homes, Oakbrook Village and Tipton Place Senior Living.
Door prize donors for the event include Aging in Place Home Services, Bolinger’s Propane and Warren Service & Supply, Bowen Center, Byron Health Center, Champion Windows, Family LifeCare, Grossnickle Eye Center Inc., Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Heart to Heart Hospice, Help at Home, Heritage Pointe Communities, Hickory Creek Healthcare, Huntington County Council on Aging, Huntington County Health Department, IPMG, Kris Hittler Insurance, LaFontaine Center, Lutheran Life Villages, Majestic Care of West Allen, Markle Health & Rehabilitation, Miller’s Merry Manor, Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, Peabody Retirement Community, Renewal by Andersen, River Terrace Retirement Community, Senior Life Newspaper, Swiss Village Inc. and United Healthcare Medicare Solutions.
Once again there will be golf carts available in the Merillat parking lot to help vendors and visitors get to the door.
“We just try to do everything we can for our people,” Murray says.