Thousands attend Seniors on the Go Expo in Westminster

The cars at the Carroll County Agriculture Center were lined in double rows stretching from the gates, deep back into the grass Wednesday morning, with police directing a steady flow of incoming drivers looking to park. Shuttles ran constantly, ferrying people to and from their vehicles and the Shipley Arena.

This was the 14th annual Seniors on the Go Expo, an event organized by the Carroll County Commissioners and the Bureau of Aging & Disabilities, with more than 100 vendors and tables of information for older adults and their caregivers.


There were tables for AARP, for the Carroll County Senior and Community Centers, Carroll Hospice, the Social Security Administration and more.

There were blood pressure screenings, and an oral cancer screening available from the Carroll County Health Department.

There were teams of uniformed square dancers performing for an audience at the center of the cavernous Shipley Arena.

“It’s going fabulous. We have a steady flow of traffic, which is always good,” said Leslie Wagner, the expo coordinator with the bureau of aging and disabilities. “We will know at the end of the day based on how many tote bags we have. We are hoping for 2.000-plus [people].”

Everyone entering the arena Wednesday was offered a tote bag, which would later allow Wagner her head count, and helped those in attendance carry information and swag.

People like Irene Baugh, of Westminster.

“I am always interested in everything that can help the seniors, I come to all affairs of that kind,” she said. “There is so much to see, it’s kind of overwhelming, but I like all of it.

Doris Shropshire and her sister, Phyllis Myers, both of Westminster, came to the expo for information, Myers for the very first time.

“It’s a huge affair, it’s really nice for Carroll County,” Myers said.

“I used to work in an independent living facility and I know a lot of the people here,” Shropshire added. “It’s a good day to get information and see friends.”

Just inside the arena was parked one of Carroll County’s trailblazer buses, this one with a stylized Doberman painted on the side, along with the name, “Mad Dog,” a nod to the late Mike “Mad Dog” Sater, a veterans advocate who died in 2015 and was instrumental in getting the county’s veterans shuttle service running. It was a major topic at the Veterans Services Program table at the expo, according to program coordinator Francine Hahn.

“I think people have also learned and gotten wind that we offer a shuttle service, so they are asking about that, and what do they need in order to register for that,” she said. “We are able to give them that information; documentation is needed.”

It was a busy day for Hahn.

“People are coming up and asking about veterans benefits. A lot of people aren’t aware that they may be eligible for benefits, either through the VA health system, or for any kind of VA compensation or disability,” she said. “Also surviving spouses may be eligible for a pension.”


It was also busy at the table set up by the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, which was piled high with pill containers with large letters indicating the day of the week.

“We go through so many of those. People love those things,” said State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo. He was also offering jar openers, a selection of things to make seniors’ lives a little easier.

“But with that, we try to get them a lot of information on scams that are targeting seniors. Information on IRS impostor scams, on the courts coming to do a bench warrant scam,” DeLeonardo said. “It’s a way for us to give back to our seniors while at the same time educating them so they don’t become a victim.”

It was exactly the sort of assortment of information that Shropshire said she appreciated about the event, and would keep her coming back.

“It’s nice they provide a place for the different companies and retirement centers to provide information to seniors,” she said. “A lot of people don’t have a way to get that information.”