Third time's a charm for Expo
WORTHINGTON -- They carried gift bags, brochures, freebies and roses in bloom, stopping by one booth after another for information, ideas, a bit of shopping or a relaxing break.
Hundreds of women -- and even some men -- attended the third annual Women's Expo Saturday on the campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington.
Angie Schieck of Deb's Healing Massage and Day Spa was pulling relief duty -- taking the afternoon shift at the booth and offering neck and shoulder massages to woman after woman waiting in line.
"It's been so busy all day," said Schieck as she tried to find all the trigger spots on the relaxed woman sitting in one of the chairs at their booth in the annex. Each woman who stopped by was treated to a free, 10-minute massage.
What could make a woman feel better than getting a free massage? How about a free session with the make-up artists at the Avalon booth?
By early afternoon, Avalon instructor Sophia Markus said Avalon workers hadn't had a break all day. Not only did they have a waiting line of women, they also had crowds looking on as one by one ladies were treated to a make-up application with Youngblood mineral products.
"It's very new to Avalon," said Markus, adding that they were experiencing really good sales of the product. "It's been completely amazing.
"(People's) first reaction is, 'Oh, my God,'" she said. "The foundations have been the biggest hit."
Also a hit with Women's Expo attendees were the medical booths. At Avera Worthington Specialty Clinic's booth, nurses were doing non-fasting cholesterol and glucose checks, and taking blood pressure readings.
"Those chairs have not been empty all day," said Julie Wieneke, Avera's assistant to the clinic manager. "It's been a very good turnout this year."
In addition to offering its free health checks, Avera was busy signing up individuals and teams for its sponsored Community Weight Loss Challenge. In its second year, the challenge once again is offering free Wii consoles to the team that wins.
"We've had really good participation," said Wieneke. "People seem really excited about it."
A variety of programs were offered throughout the day, such as health-related topics, cooking and crime.
Worthington Police Department Captain Chris Dybevick and Officer Bob Fritz shared a few horror stories of Internet crimes against children and urged parents to take a vested interest in their child's online activity. Dybevick suggested parents know their child's passwords on social networking sites and monitor them for questionable content. He also encouraged them to monitor their child's cell phone text messages for any improper messages.
"It's a way different world that our kids live in today," said Fritz. "Once they go online, anyone can come into your computer."
He said a family's computer should be in a location where everyone can see it, and talked of the importance for parents to know what their kids are doing online.
These days, it isn't enough to just be concerned about the computer activity within a person's home. The local police department issued a search warrant on a home once after it was discovered pornographic images had been downloaded to the IP address.
After searching the home and talking with the tenant, officers learned the wireless router in the home did not provide a secure connection. What that meant was anyone in the neighborhood could have picked up the wireless connection and downloaded the porn. To prevent this from happening, Dybevick said people need to make sure their wireless router is encrypted.
On the lighter side of presentations, Kay Sauck, founder of Women Inc., spoke of how her Fairmont-based magazine is working to share the stories of women all across the region.
She offered a champagne toast, "to you, to women, you rock," and talked about how every woman has a story to tell.
After sharing her own story of recent personal tragedy and challenges, Sauck told attendees the "challenges that face us in life make us who we are."