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  2004 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Nikki Smith
Phone: 1-217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

August 5, 2004

Seniors to "Tell It Like It Was" at Fair

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The histories of diverse groups of people who came to Illinois will be shared this year in the Senior Building at the Illinois State Fair. Histories, both oral and written, are set to be recounted in programs on stage, in a book available free to the public and on a wall of pictures sponsored by the Illinois Department on Aging in the Illinois Senior Building at the fairgrounds Aug. 13 through Aug. 20.

"Our ancestors came as adventurers, as immigrants, as slaves and as pioneers. They came on boats in first-class and steerage. Some came on horseback; others arrived on orphan trains, still others came on stagecoach and on foot. And many of us are related to the Native Americans, the first group to respect our environment," said Charles D. Johnson, director of the Illinois Department on Aging.

"They arrived under very different circumstances. But the one common thread among them was hope, hope that they could build a better life for the people who came after them. That they did, and we pay homage to them with our theme this year: 'Telling It Like It Was, the Histories of Illinois.'"

In addition to the history theme, the Senior Building will offer fairgoers daily health screenings for pulmonary functioning, bone density, mental health, skin cancer, blood pressure, body composition, weight, risk of stroke and blood sugar. Programs and displays also will include chair massage, exercising with stretch bands and weights, Tai Chi, speakers on health and daily entertainment and bingo.

The air-conditioned building is near the main gate on the state fairgrounds and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, August 16, is "Senior Day" and five outstanding seniors will be inducted in the Senior Illinois Hall of Fame at 11 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Department on Aging and Walgreens.

"We hope that people of all ages will come to the Senior Building to learn about the histories of the remarkable elders who live in our state," Johnson said.

"We want to share our vision of aging in Illinois with all fairgoers."

For more information, call the Senior HelpLine: 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY) .

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