Area seniors attend annual health and wellness fair

CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County senior citizens Wednesday were able to collect a wealth of information, including fitness tests and bone density levels, at the Hearthstone Centegra Senior Fair.

The 15th annual event, held at McHenry County College, featured free wellness screenings, food, games and a business expo to introduce local services.

"We're here trying to get information that will be helpful for us seniors as we progress through life," said Gary Heinis of McHenry, as he prepared himself for a free back rub.

Betty Simmons chose not to wait in line for a massage, but said she received free screenings for bone density and blood pressure.

"We come every year just for an outing," said Simmons, a Woodstock resident.

Jointly hosted by Centegra Health System and Hearthstone Communities, the fair's goal is twofold, Centegra's Michael Geheren said.

"Its main purpose is to educate the county's senior population and connect them to the services they need," Geheren said.

Centegra brought 16 services to the fair, but it wasn't just health-related information that was available, Geheren said.

Also included were booths for services such as law enforcement and banking. Local elected officials state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, and McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi also were there to mingle with senior community members.

That and the free lunch, games and complimentary wellness products made for an enjoyable time, Hearthstone CEO Terry Egan said.

"They come, they talk to vendors, and usually walk away with a big bag of goodies," Egan said.