Town’s second annual Senior Trade Fair huge success
An inclusive community is one that offers services, events, and tackles the needs of all ages, ability levels, and demographics. In a Town like Grand Falls-Windsor where the 50 plus group makes up almost 40 per cent of the population, it’s particularly important to make sure the unique needs of this group are met.
© Andrea Gunn photo
Grand Falls-Windsor Age Friendly Steering Committee member Cecelia Hickey poses in front of a bustling stadium of citizens enjoying the second annual Senior Trade Fair. Over 500 people attended the event, which took place Oct. 3.
In order to better serve the seniors in the community the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor’s Age Friendly Steering Committee, a group made up of council and citizens representing the interests of seniors in the community launched an annual Senior Trade Fair last fall.
It was such a success, this year the event, which took place Oct. 3, was moved from the Royal Canadian Legion to the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium to accommodate a nearly twice as many exhibitioners as last year.
The 42 booths represented a variety of programs, businesses, and services available to residents of Grand Falls-Windsor. In addition, there was food provided by the Age Friendly Steering Committee and the Exploits Valley 50+ Club, a book exchange, live entertainment, seminars on healthy eating and patient safety, card games, and more.
According to the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor over 500 seniors in the community took advantage of Thursday’s fair.
Public relations representative Cecelia Hickey of the Age Friendly Steering Committee said she was thrilled to see the increased response from the public at Thursday’s event.
“(We’re pleased) to provide a fair a seniors fair like this and give the seniors an opportunity to come and see what’s available in the town. The community is very well represented, there’s all kinds of info there for seniors,” Hickey said.
Exhibitors included the Cancer Society, Red Cross, YMCA and Central Health.
Hickey said businesses were also well represented with pharmacies, retirement homes, coffee shops, foot care clinics, and others participating. The RCMP and the local Fire Departments also had booths to raise awareness about certain issues.
“The whole thing (is) with an ageing population we want to make our town as friendly as we can,” she said.
Mayor Al Hawkins was at the fair, along with several other representatives from the town and the Age Friendly Steering Committee. Hawkins said it’s very important for the town to continue to make the community as accessible, friendly, and inclusive as possible for its aging population.
“Because we are a service centre and the healthcare facilities are in Grand Falls-Windsor, we’re finding that more and more seniors are coming from rural areas of the province that don’t have these services and they want to be close to medical services,” Hawkins said. “We need to be ready for that and to be able to make sure our community is age friendly and these services are there for these people.”
Hawkins said the services that are often important for seniors range from having support for medical issues, to having access to exercise facilities in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle
Jim Dobson is a senior citizen and a retired school principal. He’s lived in Grand Falls-Windsor for 45 years.
Dobson said when he vacations in Florida, he often makes a point to visit senior fairs, and said Thursday’s event was on par with many he has seen.
Dobson said he was very surprised to learn many of the services featured at the fair even existed.
“Not just seniors but citizens in general are probably unaware of the services that are available here. As a senior citizen I was amazed at the number of exhibits that I had no idea even existed in town,” he said.
“Overall, I thought the fair was very well run and the exhibits that they have there and the people that are manning the exhibits were very good.”
If you are a senior citizen who was unable to attend Thursday’s fair, and would like more information on programs and services available in Grand Falls-Windsor, contact Town of Grand Falls-Windsor’s Parks and Recreation Department at 489-0450.