FULTON, NY – Approximately 300 Central New York seniors, maybe more, crowded into Fulton’s War Memorial on Wednesday taking part in State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Senior Health and Wellness Fair.
“I am glad to see such a huge turnout today,” the senator said.
The event offered participants a chance to meet with representatives of companies and organizations that could assist them in many ways from health and fitness to insurance needs.
For one woman, staying active and helping others is the key to good health.
Senator Ritchie announced longtime community volunteer Louise Kellogg was the winner of her Oswego County “Senior of the Year” award for 2013.
“She has volunteered more than 4,000 hours since 1985. She leads an exercise class for the osteo-bone builders twice a week at the Hannibal American Legion. She volunteers at Meadowbrook Manor, she plays the piano for sing-alongs, leads worship services, provides tyransportation for residents for their doctor visits. She also volunteers at the Hannibal Senior Nutrition site, and she has a leadership position at the Hannibal Methodist Church. She is the organist at the church, also.”
Kellogg has a long list of accomplishments in community service, the senator added.
“She is a great example of what it means to truly be part of a community. Louise, we all appreciate all the time and dedication to all the organizations you’ve been involved in,” Ritchie said. “Your dedication to serving others is remarkable. I’m glad to have the opportunity to honor you as my Oswego County Senior of the Year.”
“Having something to do, something to get you up every day keeps you going,” the award winner said. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
“I am very proud to receive this award. Everybody get out and do your thing. Love your neighbor as yourself, as the Bible says,” she encouraged the crowd.
Kevin Gardner, chair of the Oswego County Legislature, said he hoped everyone got around to see all the vendors.
“Seniors can get a lot of good information from all the people here today,” he said. “It’s amazing to see the amount of people. I want to thank Senator Ritchie for going the extra mile for us; she’s been going the extra mile since day one in Oswego County.”
Fulton Legislator Louella LeClair said she learned a lot by walking around visiting all the displays.
“I am very happy that so many people were able to come out today. Senator Ritchie did a wonderful job with this wellness fair. It certainly is an overwhelming turnout.”
Legislator Terry Wilbur of Hannibal said he had a lot of constituents there “taking advantage of this great opportunity.”
Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus thanked the senator for sponsoring the event.
He also saluted the county’s veterans and said any person who was a member of the Armed Forces and was honorably discharged can have their status as a veteran displayed on their photo documents by having the word “Veteran” printed on the upper left hand of the photo document.
“You can use that to get some discounts at different retail stores and restaurants in Oswego County and Central New York,” he said. “If you want to go into our (DMV) offices, we can put that on your license for you.”
He added that he is calling on the governor to waive the fee that the state charges for that.
The annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair featured more than 50 exhibitors, a free lunch (provided by students from BOCES) and entertainment by the area band “Anybody’s Guess.”
A free lunch, made possible by Pathfinder Bank, Hudsons’ Dairy, Ontario Orchards, Behling Orchards, BOCES and Dunkin’ Donuts were also be provided. Transportation was sponsored by Entergy.
“Many seniors don’t realize there are so many resources right in their backyard that can help them continue to lead healthy and active lifestyles,” Ritchie said. “This event was not only a chance for seniors to access information on how to improve their well-being, but also an opportunity for people to get out, see their friends and share their thoughts with me about how to improve life in New York State.”
Studies have shown that the world’s population of people 60 years of age and older has doubled since 1980 and will reach 2 billion by 2050.
These types of outreach events help put people in touch with the services they need, she added.