Today, Arlington tried something new...an expanded and larger senior expo than any held before in our City. The difference between today's Expo and the previous ones held at the Eunice Senior Activity Center is that at today's Expo, there was continuous entertainment going on with something interesting happening all over the Bob Duncan campus, plus free lunches for the attendees.
A continuous schedule of interesting speakers (including the keynote speaker, O.K. Carter, former editor of the Arlington Citizen Journal newspaper) was happening in one room with seating for 100 people, while there were activity demonstrations outside for yoga, zumba, and other such fun stuff; door prize drawings in the main exhibitor hall, and plenty of vendors to show off what they do/sell.
The Ambassadors For Aging Well bought an exhibitor table so we could tell attendees about our group and also ask for support for Proposition 1 on the upcoming May 6 election ballot (to fund the construction of a new world class, stand-alone, age-qualified active senior adult center.
In Arlington's Mayor Jeff Williams' welcoming remarks, he said that many seniors told him that they want a new senior activity center like The Summit in Grand Prairie and now they have a chance to express that desire, if they so choose, on the upcoming May 6 ballot [Note: voting "FOR" Proposition 1 will create the funding to build the new active senior adult center. Nearly everyone I spoke to at the Expo was enthusiastic about supporting the new senior center, so please don't fail to vote in the upcoming election.]
I served on the Planning Committee for the Expo and I am delighted to say that attendance exceeded the Committee's expectations. We were hoping to attract 800 "come and go" attendees and by 11:00, over 1000 attendees had come and the aisles were crowded with interested Arlington residents. I will get the final count at the debrief meeting of the Planning Committee next week but it was obvious that the turnout was VERY GOOD.
The only complaints I heard about the Expo from attendees were (1) there was too much going on at the same time (which is a good thing to me, leave 'em wanting more, and they'll come back next year); several people said they wanted to hear ALL of the speakers but they couldn't do that AND participate in the zumba activity outside AND hear the door prize numbers being read off, AND visit with the exhibitors; and (2) the sandwiches in the box lunches were too small.
A special thank you to Ambassadors members Sylvia Barrett, Dee Woods, Peggy Masters, and Jannette London for helping to staff the Ambassdors vendor table today!
Elva Roy is the Founder of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.