SIX NATIONS – More than 200 visitors cycled through the second annual Health and Wellness Expo hosted by Willy’s World at the Six Nations Polytechnic on Thursday, July 6.
Guests saw medical product demonstrations and also heard from agency representatives for funding options.
Robin Maracle, sales and marketing manager, said the event turnout was “great”.
“We had twice as many people as last year,” said Maracle. “We’re very proud to have all of our manufacturers here.”
Some of the exhibitors were — Invacare, VGM Group Services, Six Nations Health Services, Sunrise, Permobile, March of Dimes, Dreamcatcher Foundation, Screen for Life Cancer Screening bus, as well as wheelchair accessible vans and walk-in tubs.
“We’re gonna hold this again next year, and every year it’ll get bigger and better,” she said.
John Vincent, Willy’s World consultant, said that last year’s expo was a “big success” as well.
“But this is even bigger,” said Vincent. “We have more suppliers, we have three funding agencies as guest speakers, we have people here with $50,000 wheelchairs, we have people with aids to daily living, and we also turned it into more of a festival this year.”
The festival aspects came in the form of the performance by Bits of Blugrass, a free barbecue, bingo, and several raffle draws.
Vincent said that the event is also open to anyone and everyone, and the event turned out better than he expected.
“We invite everybody, it’s not [just for people that] are disabled,” he said. “It went way better than I thought it was going to and I thought it was going to be good, so I only wait for next year to see what will happen then.”
One of the things that the expo addresses head on is the fact that not many are aware of the offered products, services or the funding options. Vincent explained that the Dreamcatcher Foundation helps many with the cost of medical equipment, and just recently the March of Dimes donated $12,000 towards a porch lift to one of the residents within the Six Nations community.
“People are not aware of the fact that these products are there to begin with and also that there are agencies that are there to help pay for them. So they have just done without,” he said.
Vincent said that this is why the expo is very important.
The event was well received attendants, and the hope that the offered products, services and funding options will grow to be more known within the community.