Sheriff’s Office details new Senior Expo

Published 9:22 am Saturday, August 19, 2023

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The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office is gearing up for a brand-new event to celebrate the city’s seniors. The 2023 Senior Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, located on 3488 Godwin Blvd. The event aims to provide community resources as well as food distribution, lunch, door prizes and more. Tickets are first come first served and only one ticket is allowed per person. 

Chief Deputy David Miles talked about the event and expressed his hopes of attendees having a good time.

“We have over 30 vendors that are coming that [will] provide services specific to seniors and we’re going to open our doors at 10 a.m. and for the first hour or so, we’re going to allow them to have plenty of opportunity to mingle and speak to all the vendors, because that’s why the vendors are coming because they want to speak to our seniors,” Miles said. “Thereafter, we’re going to have a short program that will include the national anthem, we’ll recognize our service members, and we’re going to serve them a lunch.”

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Miles hopes that there will be plenty of laughs and fun during the expo. Prior to the event, tickets will be given at a drive through ticket distribution also held at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church. Ticket distribution will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24 with visible cones where people will be able to enter and exit safely. IDs will be checked and only 200 tickets will be available.

“We’ve committed ourselves to having 200 tickets available on the 24th, and then if someone after the fact wants a ticket and we still have some available, then they can contact us and we can try to get them a ticket,” he said.

As this will be the inaugural Senior Expo, the Sheriff’s Office is aiming for more next year.

“Thankfully this year, we have enough resources to host our 200, but we’re hoping our 200 will turn into 400 or more next year…,” Miles expressed.

“The reason why we decided to go with this version of ticket distribution is because there are two criteria for our seniors to attend: They have to be 60 or above and they have to be a Suffolk resident,” Miles detailed.

On flyers, residents will notice the tagline of “Empowering seniors by providing valuable resources aimed at promoting independence.” Miles expressed the importance of the expo helping seniors maintain their lives.

“A lot of times, seniors don’t want to lose that independence and Suffolk, we are rich with resources and they don’t always know. Because during COVID, we really learned what we have and what we don’t have. There are a lot of resources that became available and are currently available that are specific to our seniors,” Miles said. “We just want to get the senior and that resource in the same room to give them an opportunity to learn about it.”

Among these resources, Miles detailed several on-site medical screenings from Sentara Obici will also be available for residents. Along with thanking Sentara, Miles thanked TowneBank for their sponsorship and their donation calling them a “great community partner.” Along with the Sheriff’s Office’s work with the nursing homes, Miles talked about how this expo aims to be another piece of reaching out to seniors. He reflected on a phone call during COVID expressing how they felt seniors had been forgotten. Miles said that this was the “genesis” of the expo.

“We just want to make sure that our seniors know that their Sheriff’s office also sees them and remembers them, and wants to be there and to support,” Miles said. 

Lastly, Miles expressed what he hopes attendees will take away from the expo.

“That they had a good time, and they look forward to next year,” he said. “And hopefully they’ll tell a friend that may not have been able to participate to come on next year because the Sheriff’s Office puts on a good program.” 

 For more information, call (757) 514-7840.