The 13th Annual Senior Expo took place on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the American Legion Building in Jacksonville.
The event, which is sponsored by the local American Associations of Retired Persons Chapter 795, Onslow County Senior Services and Jacksonville Park and Recreation, hosted over 80 booths.
“This event is really neat,” said Robert Miller, retired U.S. Marine Corps gunnery sergeant. “It brings a lot of good information into one place. That is way more convenient for those of us a little longer in the tooth. Plus, this way we get to talk to people in person, which a lot of us find easier.”
Vendors from local and surrounding areas were available to speak face-to-face with Onslow County residents and provide information on health, programs and products.
“Seniors can come in and get information on whatever they are worried about,” said Doris Mitchell, senior patron and a retired teacher. “I love that my husband can get updated on the VA and I can find out about Medicare at the same time. It is hard for us to get around these days and it’s nice when we can do everything in one place. I just have to watch my husband, since a lot of the vendors are passing out sweets. He knows he is not supposed to have them, but after 47 years of marriage, I know he is going to try.”
Cholesterol checks, diabetes screenings, shots, ear and eye exams were given to patrons while they gained insight into community resources. In the event’s first year, there were only 10 vendors; this year the committee decided to put the word out and received huge support from the community in venders and volunteers.
“Seniors are a group who don’t typically get the information they need,” said Kathy Cook, committee member and volunteer.
The past two years, the event had to be cancelled due to weather concerns, so the turnout this year was in the hundreds. Seniors were relieved the 2019 Expo was met with good weather.
“This is the only event like this in a hundred miles,” Cook said. “We are thrilled to have so many people come out to support us and to get the information out to our senior community. We live longer, healthier lives when we keep ourselves informed of the programs and opportunities available.”