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Tazewell County senior support program brings back TazFest after 5-year hiatus

Tazewell County Sheriff's Deputy and President of Tazewell County TRIAD Nathan Hastings
Tazewell County Sheriff's Deputy and President of Tazewell County TRIAD Nathan Hastings

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is breathing new life into the senior support program with the reintroduction of their TazFest Senior Expo.

TRIAD is a national program implemented at the county level in order to reduce crime against older adults.

Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Hastings is the President of the Tazewell County chapter of TRIAD. Hastings said his position within the Crime Prevention Unit has allowed him to bring back awareness of the program.

“Our senior population, just like our youth population, seems to be overlooked most times in our realm. And we want to make sure that they're not forgotten, and that we have resources for them,” Hastings said.

TRIAD aims to protect seniors from financial abuse as well as support their physical wellbeing. Hastings said their services rely on senior volunteers as well as law enforcement.

“This program really survives on just being able to bring law enforcement resources to (seniors). They're the ones that are the heartbeat of our community,” Hastings said.

Hastings also said bringing back TazFest will help raise awareness about programs that are offered to seniors.

“These events that we try to put on just kind of make it a one stop shop like task fest, for instance, we have about 25 to 27 vendors that are going to be there on site,” he said.

Vendors will include attorneys, veterans assistance, realtors, home cleaning services, and more.

“As a law enforcement officer, a big part of what we do is not only we protect our community, we serve our community, so we want to be able to find those ways to serve them,” Hastings said, “And to find those pockets of individuals that might have been neglected or ignored or just overlooked and say, nope, we're here for your needs, for your safety, for your well being, your independence.”

TazFest 2023 will take place on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fon Du Lac District Administration Center.

For more information about TRIAD and the services they provide in Tazewell County, visit the sheriff's office website.

Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.