Wife of Glen Campbell will talk about their life after husband’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis
Seniors from across Minnesota will come together in St. Cloud to enjoy food, entertainment, vendors and a top-end speaker during this year’s Expo for Seniors. The free event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon at the River’s Edge Convention Center
“Things are falling into place ,and we are looking forward to another great event,” said Sue Christensen, Planning Committee Co-Chair.
The theme of this year’s Expo for Seniors is dementia awareness.
“We do feel the theme of dementia this year is very timely and needed. More and more families are facing this diagnosis, and our community as whole will benefit from being educated and aware of all the wonderful resources we have at our fingertips,” she said.
More than 100 vendors are expected. They will be set up and greeting participants throughout the event.
“We try to have a wide variety of vendors that will appeal to seniors and their adult children,” said Christensen. “This diverse group of vendors will offer information on health care, housing, finance, fitness, safety, travel, in-home care, transportation and more.” A free breakfast will be served (while supplies last) from 8-9:30 a.m., and music will be played throughout breakfast by Harbor Drive Hookup.
“Harbor Drive Hookup is a two-piece act that sings old country tunes, originals, and contemporary tunes in a similar style,” said Christensen. “Amie and Jon are both very talented musicians.”
This year’s speaker is Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell. She will speak from 10-11 a.m.
“We are very excited to have Kim Campbell join us,” said Christensen. “Our goal this year is to bring awareness to dementia, and having Kim with us to share her journey with Glen’s Alzheimer’s is an important story that is both informative and inspirational.”
Kim graduated with a BFA in dance from East Carolina University, moved to New York and began dancing with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall when she first met Glen. After a whirlwind romance, they were married in 1982 and planted their roots in Phoenix, Ariz.
With God’s help and tough love, Kim helped Glen overcome his addictions to alcohol and cocaine. The couple built their marriage on their faith and dedicated themselves to raising their three children Cal, Shannon and Ashley. All three followed in their father’s musician footsteps, which brought them all to California. In 2005, Kim and Glen moved to Malibu, Calif., to be close to their children. From there, Kim pursued a certificate in interior design, while her husband continued to entertain the world with his musical gifts, performing some of his classic hits Rhinestone Cowboy, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Gentle on My Mind, and Southern Nights.
In 2011, Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and Kim stood by her husband through the tumultuous sea of adversity that accompanied the disease. Kim, Glen and their children courageously decided to share his battle with the disease by inviting filmmakers James Keach and Trevor Albert to document Glen’s Goodbye Tour. Kim remained by Glen’s side every step of the way for what turned out to be an exhilarating, 151-show world tour culminating in the award-winning documentary, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.
“Kim has real-life experience as a wife and caregiver dealing with the very realness of this devastating disease,” said Christensen. “An Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is something that people often hide from family and friends. We hope by creating awareness and talking about it, it will help others to do the same.”
Kim and Glen moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 2013. Kim now spends her days with Glen and also travels and speaks to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. The two have been married for 33 years.
This is the 14th year of the Expo for Seniors, and each year the planning committee works hard to make the event better for participants and vendors alike.
“Every year we ask for feedback by way of surveys that are handed out during the event,” said Christensen. “We want to hear what people like and don’t like. It’s important to us! The feedback is used to make changes and improvements, determine speakers or themes. The venue has changed in recent years, due in part to the feedback we received from attendees. We are definitely focused on making this the best event it can be.”
Christensen is part of the Expo committee, which consists of a group of volunteers from businesses in the community connected to providing senior services or have a passion for working with seniors.
“The committee starts planning early in January, and it is very much a working committee,” she said. “From contacting vendors, speakers, advertisers and coordinating all the moving parts, it requires the better part of the year to make it all happen,” said Christensen. “We are always looking for ways to improve or appeal to the community so that they continue to come. The other very important component to the event’s success is the volunteers, provided by RSVP, who help at each event. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do everything we do.”
Plenty of free parking will be available, and there will be a shuttle service provided by Executive Express during the event, shuttling from the Swan Lot and Center Square Ramp. Closer parking ramps, including Grand Central Ramp and River’s Edge Ramp, will also be available.
To learn more about Expo for Seniors, visit their web page at www.expoforseniors.com.