“Obviously health is a big part of this event,” said Karon Mauney, owner and event coordinator of the Women’s Expo. “It’s wonderful to come out and get some free health care screenings, just so you can be proactive instead of reactive with your health. ... There’s a lot of information here about products and services for women that can really help you live a healthier life and enjoy life more. We have outdoor activity that can give you information on bicycling if you don’t know where to start. We have booths here that can help you [understand] the correct equipment to [use] and those kinds of things. We have Roam the Woods that’s a women’s focus backpacking group; they do hiking events all throughout the year.”
Complimentary blood pressure, glucose, body mass index and cholesterol screenings by WellStar were offered to women attending the expo. While health has always been an important aspect at the expo, Mauney said the expo offers other fun information for women as well.
“We have exhibitors with jewelry and bags. We have a travel agency for the first time, so if you’re wanting to travel abroad and you don’t know where to start, then Floyd Travel is here. She can give you some great tips on where to begin. She has traveled extensively herself, so she’s a great go-to person if you’re looking to take trips out of the country and don’t know where to start. So we just have lots of great information like that to share.”
The event also showcased Taste of Bartow, which included Louie’s Cafe, City Swirl Frozen Yogurt, Alisha’s Kitchen and Johnny Michell’s Smokehouse. Cupcake samples, door prizes, $1,000 in cash prizes, wine giveaways and complimentary massages were just a few of the goodies and giveaways offered to attendees.
“We have learned about all the different services offered to women in Bartow County,” said Samantha Groves, who attended the event with her neighbor Tina Cray. “We went to the health screening and that was great to find out our numbers and [how to] work on things ... We checked out the different vendors, there’s so many of them. Now we have a team for Relay for Life. We tried the ACE nutritional substitute and got information on that, so we’re real excited about that. It’s just such a great expo. I encourage anyone to come here; we will definitely be here next year.”
Mauney initially started the expo five years ago as a fundraiser for American Red Cross when she worked for the organization. Three years later, Mauney decided in order for the expo to prosper and become a reginal event, there needed to be some money behind it. She began her own business, a limited liability company and says the event has been growing ever since. It has increased by 47 vendors and gone from 200 people in attendance to around 1,000 this year. While the event is no longer not-for-profit, it continues to give back by donating $1,000 each year to a nonprofit organization. This year the money will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
“I just want everyone to have a fun day and be inspired to do great things with their lives and to be encouraged that they can do anything they want to,” Mauney said. “If their weight has been an issue, I hope that they have found a weight loss program within our exhibitors that will help them get on track. Also that they’ve been encouraged to get outdoors and exercise to get healthier each day. I just hope that it’s been a fun day for everybody.
“We appreciate our sponsors and our exhibitors. We’ve had a great group of people to work with, and if you didn’t get to get out [Saturday], we’ve already got the date on the schedule for 2014, March 22, so save the date.”