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Pa. state representative hosts annual health fair

September 17, 2005|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa.

A steady stream of people walked through the halls of the Shippensburg Health Care Center Friday, but they weren't there to visit the residents.

An estimated 1,000 people turned out for state Rep. Rob Kauffman's first Senior Fair, where they could listen to speakers, eat lunch, win door prizes, receive health screenings and pick up a variety of information.

Seventy local, county and state agencies, and businesses and organizations that offer services to senior citizens set up tables in therapy rooms, halls and a storage room.

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Connie Faust, marketing director at the center, said the facility has held senior fairs for Rep. Jeffrey Coy, but this is the first for Kauffman.

"This is a tradition with the 89th District," said Jordan Conner, legislative assistant to Kauffman. "From what we're seeing, this is the biggest one ever."

Many of the residents of the 125-bed long-term care facility attended, Faust said.

Kauffman stood at the entrance, greeting a long line of visitors.

"This is wonderful," he said. "It's greater than we expected. We had planned for 750. It's a needed service. Seniors love it. No senior could possibly walk away from here without new information."

Among the vendors were the telephone company, electric company, Social Security, residential facilities and funeral homes, Kauffman said. After picking up the information available at the fair, "seniors can go to their files when they have a problem. They don't have to wonder who to call."

Kauffman expressed his appreciation for Shippensburg Health Care Center.

"They put a lot of time, energy and resources into this," Kauffman said. "We are infringing on their territory, but they are so gracious."

Wayne and Olive Russell of Shippensburg rested in rocking chairs on the front porch. They had walked through the facility, and said they planned to eat lunch there "if we can get in."

Elizabeth Davis of Shippensburg had her blood pressure checked at one of the booths. Davis, who attended with her husband, Jesse, said she picked up "all kinds of information. We're going to be reading for days."

Shuttle buses and vans took people to their cars at Wal-Mart and Kmart.

Clarence and Vivian Holtry of Shippensburg rode the bus to their car before lunch. They had picked up a lot of information, but couldn't talk long to anyone because "there were so many people," Clarence Holtry said.

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