Life Enrichment Expo

Richard Callahan, executive chef for Baystate Medical Center, serves a heart-healthy snack to Esther Dogon of Longmeadow.
New features, old favorites welcomed at expo

By Debbie Gardner, PRIME Editor

SPRINGFIELD They came, they listened, they learned, and they sampled.

According to Barbara Shiffman, spokesperson for the Springfield Jewish Community Center (JCC), approximately 800 people passed through the doors of the 13th Life Enrichment Expo, which took place at the Basketball Hall of Fame on April 27.

The JCC, Novacare Rehabilitation, PeoplesBank, WMAS AM 1450 and PRIME Magazine, a division of Reminder Publications, Inc., were major sponsors of the annual event, now in its third year in the exhibitor's room at the Hall of Fame.

In toto over 65 businesses representing everything from educational opportunities to home care solutions presented samples, literature and demonstrations of goods and services specifically for consumers over 50 during the five-hour expo.

But the trade-show atmosphere wasn't the only draw to this year's event.

"We had some very nice special events," said Nancy Posnick, Life Enrichment Expo coordinator for the JCC.

"The strolling fashion show was terrific," she said, referring to the informal modeling of clothing from exhibitor D'va Couture during the Expo. "And the strolling minstrels the girls [from the JCC Theatrix Group] who did the a cappela show were very well received ... people loved them."

And of course, annual favorites such as the sampling of heart-healthy snacks, presented once again by Executive Chef Richard Callahan from Baystate Medical Center, drew crowds.

"He's been doing that almost since we started [the Expo]," Posnick said. "He's committed to presenting something heart-healthy every year."

Posnick said this year's slate of lectures also seemed popular with Expo attendees.

"Jonathan Evans [from the Herbarium] had a great response [to his talk on herbs and vitamins] and was well received," she said. "And SeniorNet was pleased ...they had about 35 people [at their] presentation on what to do with your digital photos once you've taken them."

NovaCare's presentation on strengthening core muscles was also well-attended, she added.

Presenter Jonathan Evans said he felt the expo-goers who stopped in to his lecture, titled "Everything You've Heard About Herbs and Vitamins is Wrong," were very interested in what he had to say.

"There were about 50 people there," he said. "And they were quite responsive [especially during] the question-and-answer session after the lecture."

Evans also said he'd heard from exhibitors that the Expo itself drew a great response from attendees.

"I was talking to the folks at [the booth for] Better Life Market and they said when [the Expo] first opened there was a crush of people. They felt the show was very well-attended."

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