Spring Wellness Festival offers many opportunities for seniors

By ARNE TUCKER
Gering Courier

Adjusting to the challenges of growing older is the focus of the 2011 Spring Wellness Festival for Seniors on Friday, March 18. The event, which will run from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., is packed with over 30 sessions scheduled in four blocks.
Several members of the planning team said that the event will offer many informational opportunities.
 “This is our 15th year that we’ve been doing this and it’s basically an educational day for our senior population to educate them on things such as health issues and even some things that are fun things such as crafts …,” said Jane Parks.

Planning the Spring Wellness Festival are, clockwise from left, Bobbi Turner, Lori Stromberg, Cheryl Tatten, Karen Vorse, Betty Kenyon, Pat Nichols, Jane Parks and Marilyn Dodge. Not pictured: Joan McVay, Connie Jensen and Patrick Leach.

New this year is the location of the festival, which will be at the Harms Advanced Technology Center, 2620 College Park, across from the main Western Nebraska Community College campus.
“This year is really exciting because we’re moving the event from the main campus to the Harms Advanced Technology Center,” said Lori Stromberg. The program has been hosted at the main WNCC campus for the past 14 years.
“I think our seniors will really enjoy that,” Stromberg said. “We have a number of new sessions offered.”
She added that sessions include computer skills, health and wellness, and others of personal interest.  An added benefit is that the event will be on one level, so those who attend will not be dealing with stairways.
“It will be more convenient with more parking,” she said.
Volunteers will be helping out at the annual program as well, noted Pat Nichols who is the volunteer coordinator for the program.
“We use a great many volunteers,” she said, noting that they introduce the speakers at the different sessions as well as registering and guiding visitors through the building.
“I have already contacted over 30 people and I still have a lot more to contact,” she said, adding that the volunteers are essential to the program. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
The keynote speaker will be Royce Fitts. Besides being a public speaker and writer, he is a spiritual counselor and social activist. Karen Vorse said that Fitts blends inspiration with humor in his presentations.
“That gets us off to a real positive start,” Vorse said. “Last year he did sessions for us and they were so popular that the rooms were (filled) to capacity.”
The deadline for registration is Friday, March 11. The registration fee is $5 for those 60 and older and $10 for those under 60. In both cases, lunch is included. Late registrations may be accepted, but some of the sessions may be full and lunch may not be available. For more information, contact the Harms Advanced Technology Center at WNCC at 308-635-6700.
The sponsors of the event are the Senior Issues Committee, Aging Office of Western Nebraska, Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska, Regional West Medical Center, Western Nebraska Community College, Heritage Estates and Regional West Foundation.

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