Annual Adult Services Expo Returns to Boone Mall Friday, May 11 From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 9:57 am

By Sherrie Norris

May is Older Americans Month and the perfect time for local seniors to not only be recognized, but to become more familiar with organizations and services available to them in their communities.

A great opportunity for seniors in the High Country to do just that, as well as to meet and greet their peers and advocates, will be at the 16th Annual Adult Services Expo at Boone Mall on Friday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event attracts hundreds of individuals and dozens of agency/organization representatives each year.

Hosted annually by the Adult Services Coalition of Watauga County — which includes a number of local agencies such as Area Agency on Aging, Department of Social Services and Watauga Country Project on Aging — the purpose of the expo is to increase awareness about available services by showcasing agencies that provide the services. It also helps to identify needed, but currently unavailable services, and provides networking opportunities among agencies and citizens in the community.

Always a highlight of the event, the Celebration of Living Awards will be presented at noon and will honor outstanding individuals in the following categories: Facility Resident of the Year, Centenarian of the Year, Caregiver of the Year, Individual with Disability of the Year and the Hearn Volunteer of the Year (adapted to honor the memory of recently deceased Dick Hearn, longtime volunteer, community activist and great supporter of the coalition and expo).

According to Angie Shoemake, current coalition chairperson, about 30 vendors have registered for the expo, to date, with more expected in the coming days; all will have booths set up throughout the mall and will provide valuable information and knowledgeable representatives to answer any questions.

Door prizes will be given out about every 30 minutes, with tickets available upon registration.

The Adult Services Coalition founded the Adult Services Expo in 2002. Funds raised through the expo (registration and sponsorships) go back into the community through small grants to help with programs benefiting the elderly and disabled population, said Shoemake.

Last year’s grant recipients included: WAMY for vouchers to help clients purchase basic tools and seeds for self-sustaining gardening projects; Appalachian Healthcare Project to help provide durable medical equipment for seniors with limited income; Casting Bread Food Pantry to help local families enjoy holiday meals; and the Personal Emergency Response System, for those at high risks for falls who cannot afford to pay for a life alert system.

In the past, grants have also been used to fund new programs and projects in the community, such as Project Lifesaver and the Elderly and Disabled Adult Abuse Prevention Team.

Sponsors/levels for the expo (to date) include the following:

Diamond: Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living, Life Care Center of Banner Elk

Platinum: Beltone, Caldwell Hospice, Glenbridge, Medi-Home Hospice

Gold: A Perfect Fit, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Bayada Nurses, Boone Drug, Watauga County Clerk of Superior Court Diane Cornett Deal, Skyline Membership.

Silver: Blue Ridge Electric

Bronze: Josh Teague

For more information, contact Shoemake at (828) 262-9170.

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