Senior Expo held at Marshalltown Mall

Senior citizens and their family members lined the main causeway of the Marshalltown Mall Tuesday afternoon, checking out goods and services geared toward those in their golden years.

There were 25 vendors in the mall, all with representatives showing off products and services. Both vendor workers and visitors were impressed with the turnout.

“There’s a wide variety in the ages of people here,” said Deanna Davis, assistant marketing director at the Times-Republican. “There’s also a wide variety of vendors that would interest the senior citizen market.”

Healthcare, pharmacy, hospice, supply, funeral home and veteran services businesses were represented at the expo. Visitors made their way around the vendors, talking with reps and looking at products of interest.

“I’m thrilled,” said Aimee Deimerly, volunteer services coordinator for the Iowa Veterans Home. “I’ve already ran into a ton of my volunteers in the community.”

Businesses from the cities of Conrad, Gilman, Gladbrook, Urbandale, West Des Moines, Cedar Falls and State Center were present. However, the majority of vendors were from Marshalltown.

“It’s always a great event, we get great turnout,” said Lifepoint Dental representative Amanda Ramirez.

Many visitors were happy with the expo.

“I like it,” said Barb L. Ohrt of Marshalltown. “They’ve got a lot of good health stuff here.”

Like vendors, some visitors noted the number of visitors at the expo.

“There’s good turnout today,” said Greta Thomae of Marshalltown, as she looked around the crowded vendor area.

Peppered throughout the crowd were non-seniors, also looking through products and services. Davis gave a possible reason for their interest in the expo.

“A lot of the people here are either not seniors or are ‘young’ senior citizens. Many of them look at products for their parents, grandparents and other family members, not necessarily for themselves,” she said.

Some items being sold or given out were stress balls, hearing aids, toothbrushes and articles of clothing.

Aside from the vendors, the Senior Expo hosted seven seminars. These were held concurrently with the vendors, and gave further information to visitors on certain products and services by exhibitors.

“Bingo always draws a big crowd,” Davis said. The Bingo event is held by the Times-Republican, and was the last seminar event this year. Other discussions were presented by Mitchell Family Funeral Home, Central Iowa Healthcare, Anderson Funeral Homes, Iowa River Hospice and the Hawkeye Care Center of Marshalltown.

“We also have our giveaway,” Davis said. The giveaways, which visitors could register for during and prior to the expo, included more than three prizes to the winner.

Notable among these were a getaway at the Woodland Bed & Breakfast, a bottle of wine from Hy-Vee in Marshalltown, and a trial pass good for two weeks at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.

“We’re having fun here today,” Davis said.