Seniors attend expo
A senior expo was held at Bethany Wesleyan Church, Cherryville, Sept. 15. State Rep. Zach Mako, R-183rd, sponsored the expo to show what local companies and agencies have available to help them. Eighty vendors participated.
Mako said he was glad to see people come out. He stood at the door and shook hands with all attendees, asking if they had any special concerns he might be able to help them with.
The most frequently mentioned concern was the property tax situation.
State Sen. Mario Scavello, R-40th, said he attended the event because the two districts overlap in Northampton County. He said property taxes will be on the ballot in November. To change the constitution requires a change in both the House and Senate, which has been done, before it can go on a ballot. If the ballot passes, it will require a 1-1/2-percent increase in personal income tax, but the sales tax will not be touched, he said.
A table filled with door prizes, which were donated by vendors, was the first thing inside the door. Lehigh Valley Health Network was handing out tote bags with information from Mako. Retired persons were informed they can get car registrations for $10 (1-800-932-4600), hunting and fishing licenses at reduced rates (717-705-7800) and free or reduced rates for public transportation (717-783-8025).
Mako provided forms to maintain necessary personal records or inventory a home. A resident’s guide to the district and pages showing government agencies with contacts were all in his information packet.
The public utilities commission made people aware free telephones are available for people who are hearing impaired. There is also a discounted Lifeline program to help people stay connected.
Representatives of home care companies were plentiful, perhaps more so than any other vendor.
The physical therapy department at St. Luke’s conducted strength tests and provided a chance to play a disk drop game to monitor skills.
Lehigh Valley Health Network was giving free flu shots.
U.S Congressman Charlie Dent, D-15th, offered information about resources from the government about fraud, consumer credit rights and ID theft.
Apprise volunteers helped people who are just coming into Medicare make decisions about what is best for them. The Department of Aging (aging.pa.gov) offered booklets listing all government agencies that can provide help to seniors.
Bethany Wesleyan Church (484-222-3046) informed event attendees the church holds respite programs twice a year for parents who have children on the autism spectrum. The next event will be Nov. 4.
Also at the event was a cancer support group that helps both children and adults who are facing the disease. Call 610-861-7555 to volunteer.
With the increase in opioid use, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the department offers nonopioid treatments for chronic pain treatment.
Northampton Area Public Library told people about its services and urged them to join the library and find out what the library does aside from lending books. It also offers services for the homebound.
Both Meals on Wheels (610-691-1030) and Second Harvest (484-287-4015) representatives said the groups provide help with food to those in need.
Weis Pharmacy (610-261-3600) said free shots for children to age 7 are offered for any compound with fluoride in it.
David Babb, with Lehigh Valley Veterans History Project (484-223-7332), was looking for veterans to record their memories. He said veterans are offered a free trip to Washington, D.C., each year, with a dinner at the Sands.
Mako also took to the stage to say there was a veterans van outside to show what veterans benefits are available to them.
Bill Frye sang three sing-along songs, beginning with “You Are My Sunshine.”
On the way out, free hot dogs and snacks were offered at the church cafe to those attending.
Peterson Myrtril and John Roth, of Lehigh Township Police Department, were showing the police command unit. There was also a CarFit unit there, checking if cars were best set up for their drivers. Students had taken a course on car fitting at Lehigh Carbon Community College that morning and had to attend an event to complete the course. Three of the students were at the expo.
Also at the event were the Pennsylvania military and the Veterans Affairs Office (610-782-3295), providing information about state and federal benefits for veterans.