Thirty minutes before someone would receive the first flu shot at the village’s health fair, Bernie Johnson and Donna Lehman were standing in line. The vaccine is free at this annual event and is perennially one of the biggest draws.
Johnson and Lehman didn’t do too badly, either. They were the eighth and ninth people to receive a shot.
“That’s what I like about living in Forest Park,” Johnson said. “They look after their senior citizens.”
The Cindy Lyons Health Fair, held this year on Nov. 12, drew hundreds looking to take advantage of free medical services. Roughly 240 influenza vaccines were administered as quickly as people could get in line. There were also blood pressure stations, blood draws for various lab work, eye exams and a bevy of informational booths to help the mostly senior crowd with health-related questions.
For Johnson, this year’s event marked the fourth time she has attended. Her friend, Lehman, just turned 55 and marked the occasion with her first health fair. She’s also signing up for other senior programs offered through the Howard Mohr Community Center, including games and social events.
Though she’s new to the senior circuit, Lehman said she is familiar with some of the center’s programming because she publishes a monthly newsletter for residents in her building in the 300 block of Circle. Each month, said Lehman, she includes a section for seniors and it is bursting with activities, mostly offered through the village department.
“It’s amazing how many services they have,” Lehman said.
Harry Westbrook was a little slower getting in line for his flu shot, but was still among the first to receive one. He too, has marked the fair on his calendar each year since his retirement in 2002, specifically to have his blood pressure checked and to receive the vaccine. These services are available to him through his doctor’s office, said Westbrook, but setting up an appointment takes more time and there are costs involved.
Everything at the health fair is free.
“A lot of other suburbs don’t offer stuff like this. It’s convenient and I don’t get charged for it,” Westbrook said.