By Carolyn Myers
Just as in past years, the whole county seemed to be looking forward to the 15th Annual Little River County Health Fair held this year on Thursday, May 2. Due to heavy rains that soaked the ground, the location of the Health Fair was changed from Ashdown City Park to the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the University of Arkansas, Cossatot, Ashdown Campus. Despite continuing light rain that day, eager citizens of Little River County came out in large numbers to support the popular event.
Over 40 vendors set up in the Civic Center and people began pouring through the doors at 9 a.m. Parking was at a premium but somehow everyone seemed to find a place to leave their vehicle. The theme for the day was “Patriotic – Red, White and Blue” and most of the vendors had decorated colorfully and imaginatively with that in mind. The vendors provided much beneficial health information and services, such as free lab drawing between 7-10 a.m., along with health and physical assessments. Drawings for prizes were held frequently throughout the day and lots of food and drinks were available. At noon, more than 600 meals of hotdogs, chips and cookies were served to senior citizens, vendors and workers.
Entertainment started at 9 a.m. and continued for the rest of the day with various local singers taking the microphone. Wayne Smith brought his sound equipment and kept the music going in between singers. He even gave a rousing rendition himself of the hit song, “Wild Thang.” Pastor Don Embry of Central Baptist Church emceed the event.
More than 80 local businesses and individuals donated to the event. Roughly 150 door prizes were given throughout the day to senior citizens. Monetary prizes were given to the oldest woman and man and the longest married couple. The oldest woman present was Lessie Green at 100. The oldest man present was Homer Williamson at 98. The longest married couple was Fletcher and Bobbie Harris at 68 years.
Little River Memorial Hospital’s Chief Ancillary Officer Karen Steed stated that Little River Health System is already looking forward to next spring’s event and are paying attention to the thoughts expressed by senior citizens on the location, meal and theme for the 16th Annual Health Fair in 2020.
Steed said that Little River Health System is grateful for the attendance of all the vendors, businesses and individuals who donated and worked to make this year’s Little River County Annual Senior Citizen Celebration & Health Fair the best yet.