By Senator Patty Ritchie
The road to a healthy, active life is a long one.
Every person looking to take that journey can use some help, especially our seniors.
They need access to tools and tips and the experts who can provide them.
That is why I love this time of year, when I get to host my annual Senior Health and Wellness fairs in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties.
These events, which are free of charge, are truly a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anyone looking to improve their health and feature exhibitors offering health tips, wellness checks, free flu shots and more.
Throughout the years, we have also been able to help seniors with every aspect of their health.
These fairs are a chance for people to get out of the house and socialize with their peers.
I cannot tell you the number of people who find a seat at the lunch tables and just a few minutes later, have a new friend or reconnected with an old one.
It’s a lunch that is both fresh and healthy and free of charge, prepared by the amazing students from St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and Oswego County CiTi.
This year, we were also lucky enough to get some fantastic entertainment that got seniors out of their seats and onto the dance floor.
In St. Lawrence County, ‘The Starlighters’ once again performed some of the memorable hits of yesterday and a local square dancing group, ‘Skirts N’ Flirts’ demonstrated line dancing for attendees.
‘The Country Stompers’ were featured in Jefferson County and ‘Anybody’s Guess’ will be performing at my Oswego County Fair, which is taking place on October 26.
Each fair is also a chance to recognize some amazing people who have spent a lifetime serving their communities and helping neighbors.
Seniors like Nancy Foster and Larry Kring, who live in St. Lawrence County and Sylvia Buduson and John Morgia Sr. of Jefferson County, are perfect examples of what can happen when you make it a mission to improve the quality of life for everyone you come across.
This year, I presented each of them with my ‘Senior of the Year’ award.
In late September, close to 500 people made it out to Ogdensburg for my St. Lawrence County Senior Health and Wellness Fair.
Then, a week later, nearly 1,000 more walked through the doors of Jefferson Community College in Watertown.
This wide variety of health, wellness and fun is exactly what people can expect when they come out to my final fair of 2017.
On Thursday, October 26, the fair moves to the Oswego County Highway Department at 31 Schaad Drive in Scriba.
There, attendees will get to meet the local health experts, enjoy a free and healthy lunch and take in some excellent entertainment.
This final Senior Health and Wellness Fair of the year will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can find more information, including details on free transportation to-and-from the event, as well as pre-register by visiting my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov or by calling (315) 782-3418.
Hope to see you there!