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Seniors socialize at expo

Local vendors reach out to the elderly to show off a variety of goods, services.

August 24, 2011|By Sarah Peters, sarah.peters@latimes.com
  • A crowd fills the multi-purpose room where seniors gather the latest information on health and trends during the Oasis Senior Center Health Fair.
A crowd fills the multi-purpose room where seniors gather… (Don Leach, Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — The Oasis Evelyn Hart Event Center was transformed into a shopping mecca for senior needs and resources Wednesday morning with more than 50 participating local vendors.

The Oasis Senior Resources Expo, the first event of its kind at the center in about a decade, attracted about 600 visitors, said Vicki Chin, center social services supervisor.

"People come here looking for senior products and resources, and it's like a one-stop shop," Chin said during the event. "They can compare different views and resources all in one place."

Local businesses such as Hoag Hospital, Newport Mesa Optometry, Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Mesa Verde Health Care, Coast Hearing Center and Newport Senior Living set up tables lined with free pens, magnets, key chains, tote bags and other advertorial material.

"They have a lot of different people representing senior interests here, and it allows us the opportunity to explore and see what they're offering," said Bill Gair, 65, of Corona del Mar.

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"It's like Halloween for old people," added his wife, Mary Lee Gair, 63, with a laugh.

In addition to the parade of products, the event also featured a free breakfast, raffle and fitness presentations. A barbecue lunch was to follow the event, which was schedule from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

It is possible that the expo may become an annual event, Chin wrote in an email after the event.

"I thought it was great response — very well worthwhile," Dr. Donna Cody, of Coast Hearing Center, said after the event. The center has an office a few blocks from Oasis on East Coast Highway.

"I think it was a win-win situation on both sides," she continued. "It allowed us the opportunity to let community know that we're here and at the same time, we really hope community was able to see all the services out there available to them."

With so many seniors in attendance, for many it was also a place to socialize.

"It got a lot of older folks together in the same place," said Bill Roper, 82, of Newport Beach. "That's enough of a benefit in itself."

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