Kathy Peper probably didn’t have any idea when she came up with a plan eight years ago to gather under one roof dozens of vendors serving seniors that it would continue to grow and become such a successful venture today.
But it has grown like gangbusters, and from its first humble beginnings in the King City Clubhouse, it has expanded, switched locations last year to Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard and was renamed Tigard Senior Expo.
The eighth annual event takes place Friday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and this year will feature more than 80 local vendors.
Right there with Peper all the way have been Ron and Deborah Threadgill, owners of Threadgill Memorial Services.
“They have been with me since the first Expo and then stepped up to be co-sponsors,” said Peper, owner of To Your Door Spa and Salon.
Deborah Threadgill added, “It’s easy to be the wind beneath Kathy’s wings.”
The Threadgills will have on display their custom Harley Davidson motorcycle hearse, which Tombstone Hearse & Trike rebuilt from a 2016 Harley Road King Coach. Ron Threadgill uses the Harley, dubbed “The Last Ride,” to transport caskets and urns around the Pacific Northwest, and it always draws a crowd.
Folks who get to Calvin Presbyterian when the doors open can expect to enjoy cinnamon buns, strawberries and walnuts, and The Springs in Sherwood, Hearthstone at Murrayhill, Bonaventure of Tigard, Edgewood Point, Elite Care, King City Senior Village and MorningStar of Beaverton will offer tasty food choices for lunch while Tigard HomeStreet Bank and Notes of Celebration will provide beverages.
Pianist Linda Smith will play the piano for guests to enjoy as they peruse the various vendors’ tables to gather information, pick up free samples and chat with experts on everything from insurance to in-home services to retirement and assisted-living facilities to legal services.
“The vendors have a blast at Expo,” Peper said. “They love interacting with the public and providing information and getting to know people who might need their services in the future. Last year more than 350 people came to Expo so that is a lot of exposure for our vendors. We have about 80 to 85 percent of them return every year.”
There will even be information on school bus driving opportunities with Student Transportation of America, which is looking for more drivers.
“One of the changes this year is offering continuing education for social workers,” Peper said. “The Threadgills thought of it! We will offer two free, one-hour classes at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for social workers that count toward their continuing education requirements.”
Ron Threadgill added, “It’s always nice to see Kathy take Expo one step farther. It’s all about meeting the needs of consumers and meeting the needs of those who serve them, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Another long-time supporter of Expo is Northwest Senior Theatre, led by artistic director Ray Beyer. The local troupe is made up of 55-and-older performers with an average age of 80 who each year put on a spring show and a holiday show at the Alpenrose Dairy Opera House.
“This year we are giving our performers who staff our table at Expo the option of wearing costumes,” Beyer said. “That should be fun.”
Also, Peper is bringing along four of her To Your Door professional technicians to help vendors with setting up and removing their displays.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for the vendors,” Peper said. “We want to keep the vendors happy with the event so they want to keep coming back.”
Non-profit vendors at Expo include Washington County Elections; Ride Connection; Washington County Disability, Aging & Veteran Services; Care Partners Hospice & Palliative; Oregon Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman; the Washington County Sheriff’s Office; the Tigard Public Library and the Alzheimer’s Association.
In addition to numerous senior-living facilities, other vendor services include vision, communication, pharmacy, legal, physical rehabilitation, home care and much more.
And if all this isn’t enough, there is a rumor that Elvis might make an appearance.
Calvin Presbyterian Church is located at 10445 S.W. Canterbury Lane in Tigard; for more information, call Peper at 503-530-8888.