Today, I want to visit with you about a meeting worth attending. It is both interesting and informative and, added to that, there are many door prizes. I'm referring to the Western Summit, which will be Oct. 3 at Fanchon Ballroom in Hays.
This annual meeting has been at Fanchon on East Eighth for a number of years. It is a nice place for a meeting with plenty of room for seating and space for the vendors. The vendors will have information available for those interested in health, job training, getaways, exercise, volunteer opportunities etc.
Registration, coffee and donuts, and vendor booths open at 8 a.m. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m. The Western Summit is an annual event sponsored by the Hays Chapter of AARP and, as a matter of fact, this is the 15th annual summit.
I am looking forward to the good food from the kitchen because the luncheon menu this year is wedding roast, chicken noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, and more. Since I like to eat, this really sounds delicious -- if I could, I would be first in line. But there will be plenty of food, so I won't need to worry about being first in line or about getting fed.
Of course, there are lots of door prizes.
This year's meeting follows the same format as in the past.
The following speakers are scheduled:
* Dr. Elizabeth Ashworth, a cardiothoracic vascular surgeon, will discuss strokes, how you can recognize the symptoms and what to do if you think you are having a stroke.
* Juan Baez, gambling counselor from Northwest Kansas Aging and Disability Department in Dodge City, will present information about gambling addiction and tips to overcome the habit.
* Gina Anderson, director of Adult Day Services in Hays, will discuss the new adult day service that opened its doors in mid-August.
* Will Johnson with the Ellis County Historical Society will talk about the Wild West. Perhaps he'll take us back to the good ol' days where lawlessness abounded.
* Dr. John Jeter, president/chief executive officer of Hays Medical Center, will update us on HaysMed's fine facilities and patient care.
* Kansas AARP Advocacy Director Ernest Kutzley, past Kansas AARP Volunteer President Dave Wilson and current Kansas AARP Volunteer President Glenda DuBoise will provide information on the AARP "You've Earned a Say" (YEAS) program and address the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.
In addition to the excellent speakers, there will be a wonderful music program after lunch provided by the Hays High School Chamber Singers.
These talented students put on an upbeat and entertaining musical show. We all will want a front-row seat for their performance.
There are vendor booths with displays of information and a representative from the agency to answer questions we might have regarding the services they provide for seniors. They include:
* ARC of Central Plains runs the thrift shop on East 11th. People donate items to the shop for resale with funds raised used for the disabled.
* Hays Recreation Commission will have information about exercise programs and trips sponsored by HRC. Here is an opportunity to get into shape and get away for a day right here in Kansas.
* Northwest Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center (formerly known as Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging) always has useful handouts on Medicare Plan D and other services for seniors.
* Hays Senior Companion and Foster Grandparents are good volunteer opportunities. Hays Senior Companions assist other seniors, and Foster Grandparents spend time with children.
* Kansas AARP and the Hays Chapter of AARP will have several booths with information regarding AARP programs.
* For an opportunity to save money on your car insurance take the AARP driver safety class for seniors. The certificate you receive for taking the class is good for three years. A driver's safety class will be Oct. 15 at Messiah Lutheran Church, Hays. Contact Anise at (785) 877-5170 to make reservations to attend the class, or stop at the AARP booth for information.
* Hays Medical Center will have several booths including HaysMed's Life Line, senior focus care unit, and wound healing and hyperbaric. They provide valuable services.
* The Ellis County Historical Society has historical artifacts and different displays on exhibit throughout the year, so take time to visit the museum in Hays.
* Angels Home Health Care is one of several home health agencies in Hays that provide services in Hays and outside of Ellis County.
* SER is a senior temporary job training opportunity.
To make reservations for the Western Summit, call Millie at (785) 625-9463 by Sept. 26. Meal and registration is $10. Plan to attend.
Alberta Klaus is a contributor to The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.