Seniors’ expo deemed success

FORT FRANCES—For the second year in a row, members of the Rainy River District Seniors’ Coalition were able to stage a successful lifestyle expo for area seniors on Saturday at Fort Frances High School.
With numbers nearing last year’s total of 250, coalition chair David Schwartz said the event went over extremely well.
“It was excellent. We had a lot of people come out,” he remarked, adding he also was pleased with the variety of booths from around the community.
“We had a good combination of different services and that’s what I was really impressed with,” Schwartz noted. “It wasn’t just about health or just about one thing, it was a good mix of everything.”
The 27 booths offered services ranging from fitness and nutrition to financial planning, aesthetics, and fire prevention.
“It was great to have a large variety of exhibitors,” echoed Siobhan Booth, health educator at the Northwestern Health Unit and a member of the Rainy River District Seniors’ Coalition.
“People got the information they needed and seemed to really enjoy themselves.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” she added.
Schwartz said some of the favourable comments alluded to the expo being a place for seniors and their families to meet up with friends, as well as obtain a wealth of good information.
Two presentations also were offered up during the day.
The first was a humorous skit entitled “Live, Love, and Laugh,” which was enacted by Robin McCormick, Sharon Lloyd, Neila Booth, Sheri Byma, Beth Brown, Becky Chabot, and Freeda Carmody.
“It touched on a lot of topics. It was entertaining and informational,” Siobhan Booth remarked.
McCormick also recited a personal poem, with a message about the grass not always being greener on the other side of the fence.
Meanwhile, Wayne Riches and Bob Tkachuk of the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Department presented a talk on kitchen fire safety for seniors, which Schwartz noted was well-attended.
Local MP Ken Boshcoff also stopped by and give a brief speech.
There also were plenty of door prizes up for grabs, as well as a free lunch prepared by Kathy’s Catering and refreshments provided by Safeway.
“The nice thing about it is it’s a chance to just chat informally . . . and they don’t feel like they’re being rushed,” Schwartz said, admitting sometimes during a regular work day, employees don’t have enough time to give everyone the attention they require.
He hopes they will be able to hold another Seniors’ Lifestyle Expo next year, but noted that likely will depend on funding.
“We were lucky this year because we got a grant from the New Horizons for Seniors program, so we were able to pay for things through that,” Booth explained.
“So hopefully, we’ll be able to get some funding next year to hold the event again.”
Schwartz said they also were fortunate to have a lot of great support from local businesses and organizations in order put on such a successful event.
“Everyone put a lot of effort into it—our sponsors and exhibitors who took a day out of their weekend to come down and talk to people,” he stressed.
“It made it a great event for people to come out to.”
(Fort Frances Times)