Primetime expo on Oct. 30 opportunities for ‘what’s next’

Baby Boomers and older adults have the opportunity to be matched with local nonprofits to discover volunteering opportunities at Primetime Expo at the Jewish Community Center.

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

Baby boomers and older adults should take note of the Jewish Light’s upcoming Primetime Expo 2016 set for Sunday, Oct. 30 at the Jewish Community Center. The event, which is free and takes place from noon to 3 p.m., is open to the entire St. Louis community.

“This year we are really focusing on helping people figure out what’s next in their life,” said Larry Levin, the Light’s Publisher/CEO. “As people transition from one stage of their life to another, whether it is going from one type of work to another or going from work to retirement, there are so many different ways that people can focus on their next opportunities.”

Those opportunities won’t just be work-related. The expo, now in its sixth year, will reflect a wide diversity of offerings as attendees hear from three speakers and dozens of vendors who specialize in financial planning, independent living, assisted living, continuing education, health and fitness, travel and home improvement. In addition, those interested in finding out about nonprofit volunteer opportunities will be able to do so at the event’s 2nd Annual Volunteer Fair.

“There is a spectrum of speakers who will deal with most every aspect of life and the changes it brings as we actively age,” Levin said. “Our goal with Primetime is to provide a holistic view toward taking care of the most important things for you, your family and your future.

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“We’ve really evolved from what was basically a totally vendor-centric event to one that combines vendor opportunities with the opportunity to learn a great deal about your life and the future.” 

Levin noted that the Light had incorporated changes to the event based on feedback from attendees.

“We’re interested in taking the strengths that we’ve developed over the last year or two in terms of community education and building on them,” he said.

Plenty of food will be on-hand as well with five caterers providing services. Levin said he expects hundreds of participants to attend. The expo has attracted more than 1,500 attendees and more than 150 vendors over its five-year history.

Author Alan Spector will return for the third year in a row to speak at the event. The 70-year-old Shaare Emeth congregant has written five books including “Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement.”

“We modify the topics each year and this year I’m going to be talking about how to decide what’s next in your life that might be exciting to you,” said the Creve Coeur retiree who does workshops nationwide on the topic.

Spector said he hopes attendees gain a better perspective on the kinds of activities they might engage in during post-retirement.

“A couple of specific topics that I’m going to cover are how volunteering can be fulfilling and how to think about where to volunteer,” he said. “The other one is that I deal with the myth that retirement means not working.”

Joy Millner will be speaking at the event for the first time. Honored earlier this year by the Light as an “Unsung Hero” for her community work, the 55-year-old runs the Fit & Food Connection, a non-profit that helps low-income individuals maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“The highlight of my talk will be small changes that yield big results,” she said.

The Ladue resident who attends services at Congregation Shaare Emeth said she wants people attending her talk to realize their potential to improve their physical condition with less effort than they might think.

“I really think it is just something that I’m passionate about and I hope that people leave my space healthier and happier and more empowered than when they come in,” Millner said. “That’s really my only wish.”

Thomas McNeely, 69, of St. Louis County will also talk at the expo about how to stay safe from scams. A volunteer for AARP, he will let listeners know about that group’s Fraud Watch Network, a resource for those who believe they might have been the target of a scammer or identity thief.

“What I hope they will do is be more careful in their transactions online and in person and know how to take care of themselves if they are the victim of fraud,” he said. “It seems that seniors are more targeted for that kind of fraud although everybody can be a victim regardless of age.”

The Primetime Expo will take place in the J’s Staenberg Family Complex’s gym. For more information, visit stljewishlight.com/primetime or email [email protected] or call 314-743-3660.