With all the talk of late surrounding the potential for an avian bird flu pandemic, it is rare to hear much about the regular old flu”the one that afflicts millions each year, usually leading to nothing more than a couple days off work for the young and healthy but posing a grave danger to the elderly.

Fortunately, the staff of the Howard Mohr Community Center is thinking ahead to the winter months and will have 300 flu shots available at its annual Cindy Lyons Health Fair on Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The supply will be especially useful since the Suburban Cook County Tuberculosis Clinic will not be receiving its normal quota of shots this year.

Several free medical exams will be available at the fair, including testing for thyroid and prostate disease, cholesterol, diabetes, TB, blood pressure, cataract, glaucoma, and foot care and chiropractic issues.

Mammograms will be available by appointment only, and those interested should call the community center as soon as possible at 771-7737.

New to the fair this year will be a healthy food sampling by local chef Denise Murray, a demonstration by representatives from the Scooter Store, and a presentation from Attorney Jonathan Groll, who will answer questions regarding living wills and other legal issues important to seniors.

A mobile driving service from the office of the Secretary of State will allow those eligible to renew their driver’s licenses without road testing, and a representative from the state treasurer’s office will be on hand with a “cash stash” of unclaimed funds.

Representatives from various agencies including the Red Cross, Life Lines and the American Cancer Society will be on hand to answer questions on a range of topics including senior services, heart disease, social security and tax appeals.

A veterinarian will even be on hand to answer animal health-related questions.

The fair, which was renamed after the death in 1998 of Lyons, the former community center director who first organized the event, is free to attend and does not require advance registration.

According to current director Bev Thompson, the fair typically draws a crowd of about 500.

Free transportation is available by calling the Community Center at 771-7737.

“Seth Stern