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Senior Fair delights young at heart

May 14, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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senior fair

Seniors 60 and over from across Washington County turned out at the Ramada Convention Center in Hagerstown on Wednesday for the sixth annual Senior Fair.

The fair, presented by the Washington County Commission on Aging, is a social and educational event for area seniors. It traditionally is held in May during Older Americans Month.

By the official opening time of 10 a.m., the Ramada's main parking lot was full. Other senior citizens took shuttle buses to and from the fair.

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Inside the Ramada, and outside at the gazebo, participants soaked up the sights and smells of the fair, and packed their plastic bags with free samples from the 87 exhibits featuring services, benefits and products for older people and caregivers of all ages.

Janet Brown, 67, of Hagerstown, attended with a friend. It was her first time at the fair. "I love it," she said. Brown was watching people get free blood oxygen and pulse rate checks.

"We're like wine," she said to her friend. "We just get better with age."

Sam Hall, of Smithsburg, had driven four people from the Smithsburg Senior Citizens Center to the fair.

"I'm a volunteer driver for the senior citizens center," he said. "I'm retired. I worked for the government for 43 years. I'm very happy to be able to do something for my community."

Mildred Castle, 73, of Hagerstown, was waiting for volunteers to hand out vouchers for a free turkey lunch. It was her first time at the fair. She said her granddaughter read about it and suggested she attend.

Raymond and Betty Rinehart of Hagerstown were attending the fair for the first time. "We came out of curiosity, really," Raymond Rinehart said. Both said they were enjoying the event.

Bertha Bussard of Hagerstown was at the fair with her two sisters. She heard about it through the American Association of Retired Persons. "I've been coming for the last three years," she said. "I enjoy all of it."

William Frasher, 73, came from Boonsboro with a van full of fellow senior citizens. "So far I like it," he said. "It's a learning experience."

Lines formed at some of the exhibits, and were long at the free blood pressure screening area. Vendors provided information on health-care organizations and social services, travel, and educational, financial and housing opportunities for seniors.

There were free samples and treats for consumers, along with live entertainment at poolside in the Ramada atrium.

Fair coordinator Dot Boone said organizers expected at least 2,000 senior citizens to attend the fair.

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