HCN News & Notes

1,000 Attend ‘Thrive After 55 Wellness Fair’

SPRINGFIELD — About 1,000 area residents turned out to state Sen. Eric Lesser’s third annual “Thrive After 55 Wellness Fair” on June 21 to learn about local resources available to help them plan for retirement.

“This was the biggest Thrive Fair yet, with 81 organizations providing information and about 1,000 RSVPs; we are grateful that we were able to get these resources to as many people as possible, thanks in large part to our sponsors,” said Lesser. “Western Mass is a great place to grow up, raise a family, and enjoy your golden years, and our goal is to keep it that way with events like this that bring our community together.”

Health New England, Springfield College, and the New England Dermatology & Laser Center returned as sponsors of the Fair this year, in addition to a new sponsor, the Center for Human Development.

The Fair’s media sponsors were Health Care News, Prime Magazine, and The Republican.

This year’s program included five educational seminars on such subjects as estate planning and elder law; diet and nutrition; and an interactive demonstration of chair yoga and movement led by Shelia Magalhaes, owner of Heart Song Yoga Center of East Longmeadow.

Assistant Attorney General Timothy Depin also gave a presentation on how to avoid various scams such as scam phone calls and emails.

In all, 81 organizations participated with booths to exhibit the services they provide in the Pioneer Valley and share pamphlets and other materials. Exhibitors included Greater Springfield Senior Services, Care One, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, AAA of the Pioneer Valley, local area senior centers and the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

This is the second year that the Fair was hosted by Springfield College, and attendees were welcomed to the campus by Springfield College President Mary Beth Cooper.

A number of elected officials also visited to greet attendees, including Hampden County Register of Deeds Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, State Senator Jo Comerford, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos, State Representative Bud Williams, Springfield City Councilor Tim Allen, Chairman of the Ludlow Select Board Derek DeBarge, newly elected Ludlow Select Board Member Bill Rosenblum, and Wilbraham Selectman Sue Bunnell.

In addition to information and seminars, there were more than 30 raffle prizes and boxed lunches were provided to all attendees.

Lesser plans to stage the fair again next year.