News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

September 27, 2012

Senior Expo 2012 enlightens and informs

Numerous participants gain exposure with senior community

TERRE HAUTE — From getting a bone density test to grabbing business cards in a stand-up wind tunnel, seniors gathered Wednesday for the Senior Expo 2012.

Verne and Marilyn Bear of Paris, Ill., had a bag full of pamphlets and information as they walked along the outer concourse at Hulman Center.

“We do business with a hearing aid company that is here and we wanted to see them,” said Verne, 79.

“Also, the Paris hospital has a booth here. We haven’t found it yet, but I am sure we will,” added Marilyn, Verne’s wife of 59 years.

Verne said he served on the Paris Community Hospital’s board for 24 years. He retired in 1991 as the superintendent of Paris Crestwood Community Unit School District No. 4.

“This expo helps enlighten people about things that are important to people of our age and what is available,” Verne added.

One fun display included a stand-up wind tunnel. The large plastic box was filled with cards from Love’s Financial Services Inc. Roger Wycoff, 63, of Terre Haute stood in the box as cards flew around his head.

He gathered as many of the swirling cards as he could and slipped them through a small opening before an electric blower stopped. The cards allow more chances for a $25 gift card.

“It was great fun. I grabbed them and put them in the slot as fast as I could,” Wycoff said.

Steve Love, company president, said it was the first year for the wind tunnel. “We wanted something different and it adds excitement,” Love said.

Kristi Whitacre, spokeswoman for UAP Clinic, said the clinic was providing a scan “which measures your bone density so it can tell you if you have problems with pre-osteoporosis or osteoporosis. If so, we provide a printout and they can take that to their physician to get on a plan to prevent bone loss,” Whitacre said.

The scan uses ultrasonic waves to measure the density. Whitacre also provided information that 21 UAP specialists will move to a new UAP building under construction on the Union Hospital campus. That building is slated to open in late March.

Ed Morgan of Terre Haute said he enjoys talking to people and playing bingo at the expo. “Last year I was actually lucky and won something,” he said.

“When my wife asked if we are going, I asked are we short on pens?” Morgan said in jest, adding that many booths provide free pens. Morgan said he has attended many senior expos.

“In fact so many, I don’t even sign in at the booths, I just bring these,” he said, showing a handful of self-addressed mailing labels.

Junior Fischer, a 1959 graduate of Indiana State University with a master’s degree, sat on a bench with his wife, Charlotte Fischer. It was their first visit to the Senior Expo as the couple recently moved to Terre Haute from Vincennes.

Fischer, 84, said he is a retired middle school teacher. Fischer said he taught Clint Barmes, an ISU graduate and current shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I think he’s doing pretty good right now. He comes back once in a while” to Vincennes, Fischer said.

John and Anne Sporer of Terre Haute volunteered for Lifestyle Music for an hour. “We had quite a few people come and I think I got two people interested in taking classes,” Anne Sporer said.

“We play the organ,” 84-year-old John Sporer said, adding it was the fifth Senior Expo for the couple.

Peter Ciancone, executive director of the Will Center, said the Senior Expo “is a popular event. People have an interest in a lot of the information that they have available to them.

“The Will Center serves people of all ages, all disabilities, and having the exposure to this demographic of the community helps us and gives us some face time. We find old friends and meet new ones,” Ciancone said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or

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