Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 25, 2014

Better Living Show kicks off today at Brushfork Armory

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BRUSHFORK — An annual exposition offering new products, new services, and new ideas from across the region opens today for its 35th year at the Brushfork National Guard Armory.

The 35th Annual Better Living Show has more than 100 vendors this year, said Jennifer Saddler, who co-chairs the event with Tammy R. Collins. The show is open today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Volunteers and staff with the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce spent much of their Thursday helping vendors and putting the final touches on the show’s preparations.

“We’ve been doing some last minute fine tuning,” Saddler said while she helped assemble colorful pinwheels that will be given away to children. “I mean really last minute.”

New activities at this year’s Better Living Show includes opportunities for local veterans to sign up for medical service at the new Veterans Administration Mobile Clinic stationed along Stadium Drive in Bluefield, she said. New seminars such as “Living Your Bucket List” at noon Saturday and Sunday, and “Heart Trivia” at 3 p.m. on both days will be offered. Other seminars on the schedule including “Cooking Tips for Diabetics” at 11 a.m. on both days, “Cholesterol Bingo” at 1 p.m. both days, and “How to Make Yourself Standout from other Applicants” at 2 p.m. both days.

Visiting the show gives local people a chance to learn more about products and services.

“You get more one-on-one and more focused attention from the people offering the services,” she said.

Presenting the Better Living Show for more than three decades is an achievement for the chamber’s staff and volunteers, said George McGonagle, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. Last year, between 5,000 to 6,000 people attended the show.

“It’s amazing to me how an organization can run an event like this for 35 years,” he said Thursday. “It’s a testament to the chamber staff to maintain a program like this for 35 years.”

Vendors kept arriving Thursday to prepare their booths. Editor Samantha Perry and reporter Anne Elgin of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph arranged flowers and unpacked items for the visitors.

“We love participating in the Better Living Show. It gives us an opportunity to interact face-to-face with our readers,” Perry said. “This year we’ll be giving away free copies of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, the Princeton Times, and Prerogative magazine. We also have yellow rubber ducks adorned with spring flowers for the children, and we are giving away three container gardens as a door prize.”

The prizes are in keeping with this year’s Better Living Show theme: The Best Blooming Time.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com