St. John’s Life Fair to host Simmons

Hobie Brown

Whether he frightens you or amuses you, get ready.

Fitness expert Richard Simmons is coming to Missouri Southern.

Simmons is the featured speaker for the 20th annual St. John’s Life Fair, which is being held March 31 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

“We are really pleased to be able to bring Richard to Joplin as our featured speaker,” said Coeta Ogle, community outreach coordinator for St. John’s Regional Medical Center. “Last year, we had Rue McClanahan as our featured speaker.”

McClanahan, who portrayed Blanche Devereaux in “Golden Girls,” was a replacement for comedic legend Jerry Lewis, who had to cancel his appearance due to scheduling issues.

This year’s event will feature presentations from several St. John’s physicians on topics such as ADHD, depression and sleep disorders.

The presentations will take place in Young Gymnasium. Inside Leggett & Platt will be several booths where patrons can receive free testing for bone density, blood pressure and other items as well as have the opportunity to speak with several physicians. Massages will be offered somewhere within the 55-plus booths.

“Each year, the fair has grown and I hope we will be able to target another group of people by having it at Southern,” Ogle said.

The event this year will feature a fifties theme and prize drawings, as well as some individuals walking around in authentic fifties apparel.

The variety of booths and topics being presented at the Life Fair should provide an enjoyable experience.

“People are eager to learn,” Ogle said. “With the variety of topics, people can learn about something anyone in their family may be dealing with or something someone in their family has contained.”

With the massages, various tests available and Simmons’ presentation at 1:15 p.m. in Young Gymnasium, Ogle hopes to see a bigger crowd than what has been seen in past years.

“We’ve seen around 2000 patrons,” she said.

Information on the Life Fair can be found on the St. John’s Web site or by phone at 417-625-2000.