Senator John DeFrancisco hosted the fourth annual Senior Fair at the New York State Fairgrounds Wednesday.
The fair, which was free to the public, included over 60 exhibitors with the idea of giving seniors the opportunity to browse several organizations under one roof.
"Being in the [state] senate, I've tried to do as much as I can for the seniors," DeFrancisco said. "There's questions about every imaginable thing, whether it's healthcare, insurance, or motor vehicles. [The seniors have] all kinds of problems or questions. The difficulty is that seniors have to go to one location, then another organization, then another one. So we thought of the idea four years ago, when we first did this, to get all of these organizations, if they're willing to come, together in one location so it's one-stop shopping. So you may have a question about healthcare, or the motor vehicle department, or you may want to get a free kidney screening, or a blood test. It's one-stop shopping."
The event has grown significantly over the past four years. This year it was held at the Center of Progress building because of the increased interest in the fair.
"Every year it's grown bigger and bigger, and people have been coming in non-stop since the doors opened at 10 o'clock this morning. Last year we had 1,000 people, which is a very big number, and it seems the way people have been coming in non-stop, I think the number will be much bigger this year. We've had more compliments from many of the seniors who are just so pleased to get so much information from one place."
The four-hour event featured food and beverages, a raffle and live music from Mickey Vendetti Unplugged. Exhibitors included New York State EPIC, AARP, Onondaga County Parks, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and the National Kidney Foundation. Local health care professionals were also on hand to provide free health screenings including blood pressure and health care screenings.
Senator Defrancisco was also available to speak with seniors for the duration of the event.
"It gives [seniors] the opportunity to talk to me first hand and ask me personal questions as their senator," DeFrancisco said. "We've had many, many people that we're going to follow up on some of their issues, so that gives them the opportunity to talk to me personally instead of making a phone call."