Senior Expo draws record crowd
Monday, 03 October 2011 by Matthew Girard
With classic cars, poodle skirts and even Elvis, the Bell County Expo Center was transformed into a 1950s "Sock Hop" during the 2011 Senior Expo.
On Tuesday, more than 800 area senior citizens gathered in the Assembly Hall of the Expo Center to learn more about services offered by more than 80 vendors to citizens over the age of 50.
"We work with people in the community to remain in the community and connect them to resources," Heart of Central Texas Independent Living center Executive Director Peggy Cosner said. "This was a perfect opportunity to give everybody a really good cross reference of what's out there in our community."
From vendors featuring everything from massages to food, residents had the opportunity to learn more about the area businesses and services catered toward senior citizens in the community.
"We just wanted the day to be a lot of fun and informative," said Scott & White Healthplan Regional Marketing Director Tammy Lawson. "I think we met our goal."
Along with the more than 80 vendors in attendance, senior citizens also had the opportunity to attend four different "Town Hall Meetings" about health from four Scott & White doctors.
"The goal is to help the senior citizens in this area to be informed and to have all the information they need to make good choices," Lawson said. "That's why we were here."
Belton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Jay Taggart said he was excited that the community was able to give something back to the area senior citizens.
"I'm real proud of our community for what they do for our seniors," Taggart said. "I think it's important to have these kinds of events to let the seniors know that we really care about them."
Senior citizens also had the opportunity to receive free health screenings, including hearing, blood pressure, cholesterol and glaucoma. Flu shots were also available to those in need.
This year marked the second year for the Senior Expo and was sponsored by the Belton Journal, Senior News, Bell County, Harker Heights Evening Star, Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, Central Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center, Scott & White Healthplan, Scott & White Heart and Vascular Institute and KTEM Newsradio 1400.
"This event is not only fun and entertaining, but it connects you to things that people might not be thinking about right now," Cosner said. "It's a way of opening up one's knowledge and education."