Brad Benfield, from Mr. B's Warehouse (left), helps Jerry Dubbs, of Plainfield, take the stellar comfort recliner for a test drive at the Active Senior Expo at Gaelic Park, Illinois, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 11, 2012 10:19AM
An only child with aging parents, Bob Cycon thought people who needed vital information related to senior citizens should have somewhere to go for answers.
“He didn’t want people coming to the house or his parents being bothered by a telemarketer,” said his wife, JoAnn Cycon.
So Bob Cycon, owner of Silver Star Expositions, organized the Active Senior Expo, which debuted with one event in Niles in 2002. It since has grown to include six shows at various Chicago locations, including an inaugural appearance Wednesday at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest.
About 60 vendors were on hand, and perhaps a couple of thousand visitors, including many returnees who had attended previous expos in Orland Park or Tinley Park.
The event Wednesday was sponsored in part by the SouthtownStar.
Janice Lyons, 74, of Markham, has been attending the Active Senior Expo for the past four years for a couple of reasons.
“One thing (is) to get information,” Lyons said. “Another thing (is) to get out of the house and mingle with other seniors.”
Exhibits offered everything from free blood pressure screenings to information on reverse mortgages. There was live entertainment, too.
“It all depends what your circumstances are or what you’re looking for, but you’ll find it at the show,” said JoAnn Cycon, vice president of the event.
First-time attendee Ruby Bailey, 69, traveled from Lansing curious to learn the latest information about diabetes.
In addition to the resources available at each exhibitor’s table, there were four seminars that covered topics such as Social Security and Medicare.
Jackie and Charles Keenan, who arrange trips and tours and plan events for seniors at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena, are annual visitors to the expo.
“We come here to see if we can pick up some new ideas that we can pass on to our seniors, and also, we have picked up entertainment,” Jackie Keenan said. She said the Ron and Sandie “Sing & Swing” team, which provided much of the entertainment, was fabulous.
For more information about upcoming shows, visit www.activeseniorexpo.net.