A great deal has changed since the first 55+ Healthy Lifestyle Expo – the size, location, and even the names of organizations that put it on.
"It's gotten bigger," Linda Tull said during the 13th annual event held Thursday, August 6, at Elkton High School.
"The first year we were hoping to get 100 people and I don't think we did. This year we're getting close to 300 people."
Tull is the Community Wellness Division Chief for the Department of Community Services, the organization formerly known as Senior Services & Community Transit and, before that, the Department of Aging.
The inaugural expo was held at Cecil College. After a stint at Rising Sun High School, Elkton High School has hosted the expo the last several years.
Two crucial components have remained constant. The first is the partnership between the Department of Community Services and Cecil College.
Shawn Markey, Director of Lifelong Learning at Cecil College, says the expo benefits everyone involved.
"Part of our college courses is personal enrichment," he said. "We have lots of courses for seniors." Markey said the college offers discounts for people over 60 and other benefits for Maryland residents.
He said the college's involvement with the community goes beyond its courses.
"It's not just the classes," Markey said. "It's things like these events that get the community involved with our programs. It brings the community together and we participate in events like this for youth and for the general population as well."
Tull said the other thing that sets the Cecil expo apart is its focus. "There are expos all over the state and country," she said. "The one thing different about our expo is the other ones are entertainment expos. Ours is different. We have vendors, too, but we also focus on health and educational topics. There are health screenings and classes. Things people really need. They come away with something. It's really a good day."
In addition to the vendors and health screenings there are workshops which included "Let Your Yoga Dance", "Social Security and You", and "Google Apps".
Phyllis Martinak has attended the expo since she moved from Baltimore County to Elkton two years ago.
"I like all the information you get," she said while waiting for a vision screening.