Nearly 1,000 Attend Ritchie's Jefferson County Senior Health and Wellness Fair

Free Event Cohosted by the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization

Nearly 1,000 people made their way to Jefferson Community College’s McVean Student Center in Watertown Friday to take part in State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Jefferson County Senior Health and Wellness Fair.

“It is incredible to see so many seniors excited to learn more about their health and wellness.  Not only do they get valuable health advice from various local organizations and agencies, but also they get to spend a day out having fun with their peers, enjoy a free lunch and even hitting the dance floor as some local musicians share their talents,” Senator Ritchie said.

“To see this many people take the time to come out and want to make their health a priority, shows just how important this event is each year. The opportunity to for seniors to learn the latest health and wellness information from their local community partners is critical to their well-being.”

Seniors in attendance were able to access health screenings, flu shots and free tips for staying healthy and active from more than 50 local organizations. In addition, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was on hand to offer information and properly dispose of people’s expired and unwanted prescription medications.

During the event, Senator Ritchie honored two citizens with her “2018 Senior of the Year” award. Ida Alteri was recognized for her involvement in numerous organizations—including the Italian American Civic Association, St. Anthony’s Parish and working in her family’s former business, Alteri’s Bakery. Also honored with the “2018 Senior of the Year” award was Dr. David Van Eenenaam. Dr. Van Eenenaam spent 40 years in the Watertown area and with the North Country Orthopedic Group serving as an orthopedic surgeon, retiring in 2011. Before he began his medical career, Dr. Van Eenenaam served in the United States Navy Reserves.

In addition to the health and wellness information, ‘Future chefs’ from CiTi BOCES prepared a no-cost lunch for attendees. Seniors were also able to get up and dance as a local band, ‘The Country Stompers’, and the Watertown High School Wind Ensemble offered some musical entertainment.

Next week, Senator Ritchie’s Senior Health and Wellness Fair moves to Oswego County. It will be held at the Oswego County Highway Department in Scriba. You can preregister for the event by clicking here.

This year’s Jefferson County Senior Health and Wellness Fair would not be possible without the generosity of numerous local businesses and organizations including:

  • Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization
  • AETNA
  • Behling Orchards
  • Cabot Cheese
  • Carthage Area Hospital
  • CiTi BOCES
  • The Country Stompers
  • Humana
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kinney Drugs
  • River Hospital
  • Samaritan Medical Center
  • Walmart
  • Watertown High School Wind Ensemble