Senior Lifestyle Expo 2011 Attracts Record Attendance
Oct 10, 2011, 10:25 a.m.
Whether they came to learn, have fun, shop or be entertained, attendees of the 2011 Senior Lifestyle Expo did not leave disappointed. More than 5,000 seniors, family members and caregivers attended the event at Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace.
Wrapping up its 16th year, the Senior Lifestyle Expo is the largest and most comprehensive senior event in the Chicagoland area, featuring live entertainment, a special Expo-Drury Lane Theatre package, an evening session for caregivers, educational seminars on a wide range of topics, game show challenge, Wii demonstrations and the opportunity to connect with approximately 100 local organizations and businesses. This year's theme was "The Fabulous 50s," so the event also included a sock hop.
Two annual competitions were held in conjunction with the expo, giving people age 60 and better the chance to show off their talents and really shine.
In its sixth year, this competition continues to grow as a fun and entertaining experience for both contestants and expo guests. During auditions, contestants sang, danced and told stories and jokes to the crowd of family, friends and expo attendees. Three judges selected 12 acts to advance to the finals. Finalists performed on the main stage at the Drury Lane Theatre and they put on a terrific show.
Sandra Miggins, an incredibly talented vocalist from Hazel Crest, wowed the crowd with her rendition of At Last and was awarded the ultimate prize in this competition, being named the All Around winner. She took home the platinum medal, $100 and, of course, bragging rights. (See related story on this page.) In addition, several other winners were named.
Non-vocal Gold: Marty Costanza of Berwyn and Carol Werkmeister of Oak Lawn performed a spectacular dance routine that defied their ages. Marty and Carol have won before and always enjoy performing at the expo.
Non-vocal Silver: Maria Kybartiene of Chicago delighted the audience with a beautiful Chardash Hungarian folk dance. A contestant before, Maria was thrilled to get her first win.
Vocal Gold: Marsha Kapchinski of Huntley performed her own lyrics giving a comedic bent to the song Memory from the musical Cats. Having just turned 60 a few months ago, Marsha's first entry brought her one of two wins.
Vocal Silver: Marsha Kapchinski, Carolyn Kleen and Karen Landis, all of Huntley, make up the trio called Me and My Friends. They were dressed in military uniforms and had a choreographed routine as they sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
Vocal Bronze: Gary Stowell of Sleepy Hollow sang America the Beautiful in recognition of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and gave the audience a heartfelt performance.
Connecting the Generations Writing Challenge
This year's contestants answered the question, "What one thing from the 1950s would you bring into the 21st century and why?" Ten 10 finalists were chosen, with the top three taking home prizes.
Gold: Theodore C. Roos of Northbrook wrote "Of a Famous Shoe-and a Sermon," telling the story of Adlai Stevenson's election campaign and how his integrity should be brought back because it is lacking in today's politicians.
Silver: Marie Scavone-Zavoli of Glendale Heights wrote "I Am Safe," about being able to get off the bus and walk home alone after a Saturday night dance in 1950's Chicago without worrying because back then your neighborhood was a safe place.
Bronze: Fern Anderson of Northbrook submitted her realistic and humorous essay titled "What's the Dress Code?" It discussed how much dressing for social occasions has changed since the 1950's.
Organized by the nonprofit Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging, proceeds from the Senior Lifestyle Expo benefit the Holiday Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals to elders in need on holidays and weekends when the weekday program is closed.
For information and to sign up for email updates about next year's event and contests, visit the website at www.SeniorLifestyleExpo.org. To learn more about the Agency on Aging, visit the website at www.AgeGuide. org or call 800-528-2000 or 630-293-5990.