BLUEFIELD – For the first time since 2019, area seniors were able to come for prizes, bingo, entertainment, flu shots and valuable information at Senior Expo 2022.

Several vendors shared information with seniors who came to the Brushfork National Guard Armory for the first senior exposure since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to stay home and reduce their social activities. The exhibit, sponsored by the Princeton Health Care Center and the Bluefield Daily Telegraphoffered a variety of services and entertainment to exhibitors.

The price of admission was non-perishable food items for the Bluefield Union Mission. Craig Hammond, the mission’s executive director, later said the seniors provided more than 500 food items. He thanked the Princeton Health Care Center and the The telegraph of the day for the donation.

Cassie Evans, director of marketing and public relations for the Princeton Health Care Center, descended from the armory stage after introducing the Princeton Health & Fitness Center’s Silver Sneakers and Line Dancers. Attendance at the expo was good.

“We’re thrilled,” Evans said as the music played. “Everyone here seems to be having a great time talking to the vendors and watching the performances. I think it’s easy to forget the importance of socializing; and it was so nice to see these smiling faces come together today.

About 50 handmade quilts hung in the armory gymnasium. Guests voted for their favorites.

“It’s definitely the most we’ve ever had,” Evans said. “It’s definitely an art form.”

At Daily Telegraph’s table, advertising sales manager Jessica Goins and sales representative Ashley Counts-Myers were on hand to serve seniors interested in the paper. Many visitors also wanted to visit them.

“We’re seeing a lot of familiar faces,” Goins said, adding that older people like to get the newspaper printed. “People are so happy to go out and socialize.”

“Nobody’s scared,” Counts-Myers remarked. “It seems normal.”

A senior danced a few steps as the Silver Sneakers danced across the stage.

“Oh, I love that,” Princeton’s Sheila Clark said of the music. “We always come to the expo. We like to see everyone, all our friends.

Her friend Barbara McKenzie from Princeton was also enjoying the opportunity to socialize.

“Oh, I love coming to see all my friends, and there are plenty of quilts. I hope to win one. »

The quilts had everything from traditional country designs to the solar system and cartoon characters.

“I chose Mickey Mouse,” Clark said. “If I win, I won’t give it to my grandchildren.”

In addition to door prizes and drawings, seniors were able to discover the services of exhibitors at the exhibition. Exhibitors included the following entities: Mercer County Commission on Aging; Advice on aging; City of Bluefield: Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Princeton: Mercer County Health Department; Poling Wealth Financial planning; PCH Home Health: Princeton Health Care; Princeton Health and Fitness Center; Princeton Rescue Squad; Virginia Behavioral Health Pavilion; and The Havens of Princeton Assisted Living.

The Town of Bluefield reminded seniors that October 9 to 15 is Fire Prevention Week.

“We’re giving out smoke alarms, magnets and coloring books,” said city ambassador Marie Blackwell.

“Basically, it’s fire prevention information,” said Chief Chad Bailey of the Bluefield Fire Department. “It’s important to have plans in place. You don’t want to wait for a fire to happen to decide where to meet and how to get out.

More than 40 seniors got their flu shots at the Mercer County Health Department table, public health nurse Dreama Hubbard said. Bluefield State University nursing students assisted with the inoculations.

“We also distribute them to the health department,” Hubbard reminded the audience. “We get several a day.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at [email protected]