WATERTOWN - Looking to improve their personal health, more than 1,200 people across St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Oswego counties made their way to Jefferson Community College’s McVean Gymnasium in Watertown to take part in State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Tri-County Senior Health and Wellness Fair. The event was co-sponsored by the Northern New York Community Foundation.
“It is wonderful to see this many people looking to make their health a priority in their lives and the lives of their friends and family. This event gives our seniors the local guidance they need to not only focus on their physical health and wellness, but also their mental health,” Senator Ritchie said.
“Spending a day out, with friends and peers, sharing a lunch and maybe even hitting the dance floor can be just as important as all the critical health information they receive at a fair like this.”
Seniors in attendance were able to access health screenings, flu shots and free tips for staying healthy and active from more than 60 local organizations. In addition, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was on hand to offer information and help people properly dispose of expired prescription medications.
During the event, Senator Ritchie honored two citizens with her “2019 Senior of the Year” award. Midge Fraser of Watertown received the honor for her willingness to offer a helping hand to others. Through her volunteer efforts, Fraser has become a staple at the Holy Family Church in Watertown. Joining Fraser with this honor is another Watertown native, 86-year-old Anthony “Frecks” Marra. “Frecks”, who is a veteran of the United States Army, has worked at the Watertown Great American grocery store for nearly 70 years. He can always be found cheering up customers in the produce department.
In addition to the health and wellness information, students from CiTi BOCES and Jefferson Community College prepared a no-cost lunch for attendees. Seniors were also enjoy music from a local band, ‘The Country Stompers’ and the Watertown High School Wind Ensemble.
This year’s Tri-County Senior Health and Wellness Fair would not have been possible without the generosity of numerous local businesses and organizations including: Northern New York Community Foundation, Samaritan Medical Center, Carthage Area Hospital, River Hospital, Behling Orchards, Cabot Cheese, Sam’s Club, Kinney Drugs and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.