LANCASTER – Thousands converged on the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds Thursday for the 22nd annual Senior Expo, a free day of health, wellness, recreation and community resource information for local seniors and their families.
Themed “Life is a Journey,” the event offered seasonal flu shots for seniors 62 and over, as well as health screenings for bone density, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body fat and vision.
The event also featured a main stage with entertainment throughout the day.
For the first time in the event’s history, Senior of the Year honors went to a couple. Lancaster residents Donald and Joyce Willey, married for more than 55 years, were chosen from a pool of more than 20 nominees.
The high school sweethearts, who came to the Antelope Valley in 1961, have been active with the Palmdale Junior Women’s Club, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Knights of Columbus, St. Mary’s Parish, Sacred Heard Parish, St. Vincent de Paul and as mentors at Mendenhall and Munz juvenile detention camps.
Another highlight of the Senior Expo was featured celebrity guest Florence Henderson.
America’s favorite mom took the stage a little after 1 p.m. to the theme music from The Brady Bunch.
During her 30-minute talk, Henderson shared the highs and lows of her life, from her humble beginnings as a sharecropper’s daughter to her success on stage and television.
“From her I feel such positive energy,” said attendee Verona Lee. “She smiles a lot so I could see how happy she is within herself.”
Henderson remained at the Expo after speaking and graciously signed autographs and took pictures with dozens of fans.
The Expo wrapped around 3 p.m. with closing remarks from High Desert Associate Medical Director Dr. Don Parazo.