By Journal Staff Writer

A sea of people, packed, and stretched back as far as the eye can see, on the campus of the Area Office on Aging, AOoA, 2155 Arlington Ave. More than just a sunny day on Thursday, September 8 brought the crowd to the location.

It was the AOoA’s Health & Wellness, with a Twist event. The featured event was people receiving a booster shot for the Covid-19 virus. Additionally, various healthcare providers, as well as, any vendor that offered a good, or service, related to health and wellness, also decorated the lawn of the agency.

Dorothy Washington receives her third booster, being administered by Tina White.

But the twist to the event revolved around dances that called for the participant to twist their body; dances such as the Twist, and Mash Potato, Regina Russell, one of the directors at the agency, told The Toledo Journal.

“In addition to receiving the booster, for those 12 years of age, and up, people would get literature that could better their overall health,” she said. “Where the dances come into play is, due to the Covid-19 virus the past few years, we had to cancel our Senior Prom, and people have been asking when we would hold it. So we took advantage of the nice weather, and the fact people could receive another vaccine, to incorporate the dance into today. We encouraged people to dress like the 1950s, and 1960s; where poodle skirts, rolled up jeans, white t-shirts, and sweaters for the women,” Ms. Russell explained.

“Today is a wonderful day,” said Ms. Billie Johnson, President and CEO of AOoA. “Today is a wonderful day because so many older citizens care about their safety, and health.”

Shanel McFarland received her first booster. Being administered by Kenia Garner.

Meredith Wagoner, director of Americorps Senior RSVP program, said people would be receiving the newest doses of either the Pfizer, or Moderna vaccine. Further, she explained, people could pre register for the booster, which 500 people did, or they could simply just show up, which 350 plus chose to do. Further, the first 200 people would receive a $100 gift card.

“This is my second booster since they’ve been offered to us,” said Naomi Crawford. “If they said we need four or five, then I would get four or five.. I’ve been tested 19 times, and never had Covid. I have to take care of myself. I have family members, who work at a hospital, so my health is number one.”

Shanel McFarland is one of the youngest people receiving the booster; she’s 48. “This is my first booster. I had Covid once, and it wasn’t a good feeling. I have an elderly mom, and uncle around me, so I felt it was necessary to get the booster.”

Helping the AOoA make the event a success was the YWCA of NW Ohio. The YWCA helped the AOoA secure a $20,000 grant. “This is wonderful, and exciting,” said Lisa McDuffie, president/CEO of the YWCA. “This money, and event is so valuable to the underserved people of our community like Black, and Brown people; I’m excited to be here.

Ms. McDuffie said money is still available to any agency providing Covid-19 intervention for Black and Brown people. The deadline to apply for the grant is December 31, 2022. Ms. McDuffie can be reached at 419.241.3235.

TARTA provided a bus that served as a mobile clinic, in which people received their booster shot.