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Annual Senior Expo provides fun and information

BRUSHFORK – Flu shots, health services, Bingo and a demonstration of patriotism mixed with fun and friends Thursday at the annual Senior Expo in the Brushfork National Guard Armory.

Rebecca Bivens sang “God Bless the U.S.A.” as seniors watched her or browsed the vendors offering health screening and information about local services designed to benefit their age group. When Bivens finished her song, Bluefield Mayor Ron Martin read a proclamation designating Thursday, Oct. 4 as “Senior Day Out” and encouraging all seniors to come out and enjoy the day at the Brushfork Armory.”

There are now more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 15, Martin said in the proclamation.

Besides music, drawings for door prizes and Bingo, the seniors were presented with a flag folding ceremony by members of the Marine Corps League Mountaineer Detachment 957. Detachment member Al Harman, who described the ceremony, said there is a movement underway to eliminate two symbolic folds in the American flag which represented devotion to God.

“We believe we are still a Christian nation,” he said, adding later, “I think this flag is the most beautiful.” 

 When a person salutes the flag, he or she is also saluting the veterans and the sacrifices they made to safeguard America’s freedoms, Harman said. Detachment members Mark Ra’Chelli, Susan Roles, Richard Lawson and Curtis Vest also participated in the ceremony.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph and Glenwood Park Retirement Village sponsored Thursday’s expo. Susan Belcher, administrative and marketing director for Glenwood Park, said the expo has been presented every year since 1995.

“We get exhibitors who will share information about their services to seniors in the area,” Belcher said. “We’ve had a good turnout. I think it’s very important to make them aware of the services available to them in the area, and to have the health screenings, the flu shots; and then, of course, the fun and the prizes. It just makes the day even more special.”

Nurses with the Mercer County Health Department were providing flu vaccinations. By Thursday afternoon, more than 40 seniors had received their shot, Sandie Davis, RN, RSN, said.

“As you age, your immune system weakens,” she stated. Giving them “a senior dose” of the vaccine helps them to develop a better immune response.

“We just saw it in the (Bluefield Daily Telegraph),” Susan Wilson, 71, of Pageton said. “And we wanted to get out. We got a flu shot, and we like to walk, get out and meet new people.”

“I’m the driver,” her husband, 80-year-old Gene Wilson added.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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