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Health fair informative – shows are entertaining

by Jo Rafferty

Lots of commotion was going on in the dressing room down the hall from the Senior Health Fair and fashion show at the Carson Valley Inn, Wednesday.

With three outfits to wear for each of the five children who were models, they spent a lot of time pulling clothing on and off.

“He did fabulous for his first time,” said Judy Procaccini of blonde-headed Garrett Guinn, 2, one of the fashion models. Procaccini is owner of Baby Willow’s Petit Boutique in Gardnerville, one of the stores providing clothing for the fashion show. Other stores featuring outfits in the show were Belle’s Boutique in Gardnerville and the Sidestreet Boutique in South Lake Tahoe.

Procaccini’s two granddaughters, Wednesday and Willow Bartels, also modeled in the show.

“It was great,” said Wednesday, 11, who was modeling for the first time along with her sister, Willow, whom her grandmother’s store was named for.

Wednesday said she liked being in front of people.

Twenty-four models of all ages walked the interior of the Shannon Ballroom at the casino and hotel, for the sixth annual fashion show which took place at the seventh annual Senior Health Fair presented by the Douglas County Senior Center.

“The first year we did the health fair it kind of died off after noon,” said Esther Hildebrand, a volunteer at the senior center for 12 years. “At the next meeting we decided to do the fashion show.”

The models they hired were just “regular people,” according to Hildebrand.

“I just started calling people and said I need your help.”

Joyce Aultman was modeling for the third year, along with her 18-year-old granddaughter Amanda Alcott who was modeling at the event for the second time. Hildebrand said she initially thought of Aultman because her husband, Marvin Aultman, is the senior center’s transportation coordinator.

Joyce said she bought the outfit she modeled from Sidestreet Boutique.

“It’s for my 54th wedding anniversary,” said Joyce. “We’ll probably go to the Peppermill. If not, we’ll end up in Vegas.”

Of modeling, Amanda, a former Douglas High School student said, “I love it. It’s some excitement in this small town.”

Nancy Galt of Coleville, who moved from Idaho three months ago, provided the morning entertainment at the all-day event. Galt was Ms. Idaho Senior America in 2004. She sang old classic western songs during a two-hour show, including “Love Letters in the Sand,” “Where the Boys Are” and “Angels Among Us.”

Galt sang at about 20 places every month while in Idaho, and was in a couple of bands before that. She hopes to continue performing at retirement centers, festivals and fairs in the Valley.

Senior services director Warren Bottino said between 400-500 people attended the Senior Health Fair throughout the day. Twenty-three health care providers and professionals, six residential care facilities, six senior services and 10 senior services organizations and professionals had booths set up around the room. Blood pressure checks were conducted in the morning, as well as massage therapy.

“We’ve been fortunate each year to get 400-500 people,” said Bottino. “The fashion show really works.”

Director of marketing for the retirement community Merrill Gardens at Gardnerville, Robyn Maxwell, said at their booth “It was really steady with a lot of interested people.”

“The fashion show was real fun. They strolled around the room. You could talk to them and ask them about their outfits.”

Sierra Nevada Ear, Nose & Throat Associates doctor of audiology Nanci Campbell said her most popular item was a self-hearing test. Advice she gave people the most was they should get two lower cost hearing aids rather than just one higher quality hearing aid, because you can hear better if the brain gets input from both ears.

“The brain is really important in interpreting,” said Campbell.

A.G. Edwards & Sons senior vice president Thor Teigen said it was the first year the Minden investment services company has had a booth at the health fair.

“I will have new business as a result of being here,” said Teigen. “I’ll definitely come back next year.”

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare had three booths, including for cancer and nutritional services.

“It’s good to have the information out in the community, to let them know what’s out there,” said business development coordinator Jeri Shields.

Breast Cancer Resource Center volunteer Susan Sanford said she talked to 85 women, including three men, about breast self exams and recruited a few people for the breast cancer support group.

A raffle took place, with proceeds going to the senior center’s Meals on Wheels program.

Linda Kyriakopoulos of the senior center said there were more vendors than ever this year, and clothing for the fashion show came from three stores rather than one as in previous years.

“It was not just for seniors. There were clothes to wear for everyone,” said Kyriakopoulos.

“We had a very positive, good response from the community.”

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at jrafferty@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.