- Written by Megan Joyce Megan Joyce
Despite the strangely summerlike weather, Cumberland County’s baby boomers, seniors, and caregivers turned out for a local fall tradition: the Cumberland County 50plus EXPO, which returned to the Carlisle Expo Center for its 17th year on Oct. 19.
A day of information and resources for the area’s 50+ community, the 50plus EXPO was presented by OLP Events, the events division of Central Pennsylvania-based On-Line Publishers, Inc., and Cumberland County Aging and Community Services.
The event commenced with the presentation of RSVP of the Capital Region’s 2016 Most Valuable Volunteer Award for Cumberland County.
WHTM abc27 news anchor Valerie Pritchett presented the award to Violet Barrett, of Wormleysburg. Barrett has volunteered at Bethany Village in a variety of roles since the late 1980s, amassing more than 1,000 volunteer hours with RSVP.
“You don’t think about it as time goes by,” Barrett said of her years of service. “But [the recognition] is very nice.”
More than 80 exhibitors displayed products and services for travel, housing, medical services, nutrition, home improvements, finances, and healthcare.
EXPO guests found the event to be a one-stop shop for a variety of health screenings, all offered free. Screenings included blood pressure, hearing, bone density, cholesterol, stroke risk, and others.
Monda Wickard, of Mechanicsburg, carried with her the chart results of her heel scan, which serves as a baseline test for bone density. Her result showed she should seek further treatment.
“It was high, so I’m going to get a bone-density scan because of this,” Wickard said. “So it’s very beneficial to get [the screening] done.”
Kmart provided flu shots to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis; students from McCann School of Business & Technology offered free chair massages.
Visitors also had the option of attending additional free seminars. Chad Madden of Madden Physical Therapy provided natural options for healing back pain and sciatica, while Dr. Jadd Koury, colorectal surgeon with Carlisle Medical Institute, covered digestive health.
The 50plus EXPO is a day for both information and entertainment. Stage presentations began with Chris Poje, 2010 PA State Senior Idol winner, whose voice filled the expo center with classic songs such as “My Girl,” “Unchained Melody,” and “That’s Life.”
Michael A. Hasco, AIFD, from Stauffers of Kissel Hill, showed how to create a vibrant, cascading plant display using a “crazy pot” and autumn-colored annuals, perennials, and faux florals.
Using free weights in both seated and standing positions, Justin Margut, Bethany Village Wellness on HEALTHWAYS, led a SilverSneakers Classic demo class demonstrating exercises designed to increase muscular strength and range of movement.
Jerry Mitchell, education and outreach specialist with the Office of Attorney General, educated seniors on how to protect themselves against financial exploitation.
Finally, Tad W. Miller of the Cumberland County Historical Society—dressed in Colonial period clothing and a tricorn hat—discussed Cumberland County in the 1750s and its role in the French and Indian War.
“This is very interesting and it’s very helpful,” visitor Dick Mowery, of Plainfield, said of the EXPO. “The people that are here can benefit a lot from this.”
OLP Events’ 50plus EXPOs will return in spring 2017 in Chester, Dauphin, and Lancaster counties. For more information and updates, visit www.50plusExpoPA.com.