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Women flock to Expo

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Rev. Jim Callahan speaks during his “Destination Worthington” seminar Saturday at the Women’s Expo in Worthington. Brian Korthals/Daily Globe2 / 3
Attendees explore various booths set up in Minnesota West’s gym. Brian Korthals/Daily Globe3 / 3

WORTHINGTON — Pat Henkels enjoys the Daily Globe Women’s Expo Health and Home Show.

“This is awesome. It’s a lot of fun to be here,” she said during Saturday’s event on the campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. “The atmosphere is fun. It’s fun to see a lot of people, and it’s also fun to see the things that I love to purchase or to look at and wish I had. It’s fun to see what’s available.”

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In fact, Henkels said this Expo is better than others she has attended.

“Several years ago I went to Sioux Falls and when Worthington started theirs, it’s much better than Sioux Falls,” she said. “This has been a fun one to be at, and I try to get here every year.”

Women of all ages packed the Center for Health and Wellness for the seventh annual Women’s Expo.

People came to browse at the nearly 60 booths that lined the gym and hallway.

“It’s very, very nice,” said Marilyn Samp, another Expo attendee. “I was looking for the Mary Kay lady and she was here, so I got to speak to her and learn about what I wanted to know.”

Many of the vendors were handing out free items. At Hy-Vee, dessert shooters were the highlight.

“This is the only food I’ve had so far, and this is good,” Samp said.

Julie Roberts, Hy-Vee’s Human Resources Manager, explained the small desserts are a new item being offered.

“It’s just a bite of dessert,” she explained. “It’s the newest trend in dessert. People are doing this for weddings, graduations and bridal showers. Instead of having a piece of cake, they are doing dessert shooters.”

Hy-Vee was a prize sponsor again this year, as each person had an opportunity to win a $500 gift certificate to the store.

“We just think it’s a great idea to come out and meet everybody in our community and show them some of the new stuff we have going on,” Roberts said. “We’re excited to come over and enjoy this day. It’s always a lot of fun and a great turnout.”

Attendees also had the opportunity to win a dining room set from Slumberland or a diamond pendant from Johnson Jewelry.

“The collection we chose to give away this year is the Bobbie Collection. It’s a table and four chairs, counter height, very versatile and works good in most homes,” explained Krista Petersen, owner of Slumberland. “The Expo is just a great opportunity to get out in the community and see a lot of people who maybe haven’t had an opportunity to walk in the store and let them know we’re here, and to give back to the community.”

Jeff Johnson of Johnson Jewelry said he enjoys the exposure the Expo offers his business.

“We’re always very happy to be a part of this,” he said. “We get to see familiar faces, a lot of our customers are out here. It’s just a good, fun day to show people what we have, especially those who aren’t familiar with our store. We can show them a little sampling of what we have, so hopefully they will come down.”

Among the title sponsors was Minnesota West, which had the opportunity to show off the newly remodeled Center for Health and Wellness.

“I think it’s been really nice to do the Expo in the new facility,” said Amber Luinenburg, Coordinator of Communications, Advertising and Marketing for the college. “There’s more space—we’re able to pretty much contain everything in one area this year, in comparison to other years where we’ve had to make do because of lack of space. This’s been fun for the college to feature the new facility and have people out here who may not normally come out.”

Sanford Worthington and Avera Medical Group were also title sponsors. Each sponsored seminars throughout the day.

“We’ve been a sponsor for most of the years and we just think its a great event,” said Holly Sieve, Marketing Coordinator at Sanford. “We enjoy visiting with the local people and we really like being here. It’s important to bring our departments out and to tell about all the services we have to offer. We don’t want people to leave Worthington for their services, so we think this is a good audience to hit.”

One of the Sanford-sponsored seminars was on the Profile program.

“It’s a new weight-loss program that has come to Worthington,” Sieve said. “They have a little kiosk center at the local YMCA. People are really weight-savvy and they want to be healthy, and I think this is a really healthy program.”

Avera sponsored one of the seminars as well as the wine tasting at the end of the event. Though Avera has been a part of the event for many years, it was the first for Greta Martin, Family Nurse Practitioner at Avera.

“I’m incredibly impressed. I will be honest—I’ve been to the Women’s Expo in Duluth, which is a dramatically bigger city than Worthington, and it doesn’t compare to what you have here today, it really doesn’t,” she said. “I think the diversity of it is wonderful.”

The Daily Globe sponsored two seminars, which were cooking demonstrations by Sue Doeden, Food Specialist.

“I love the people who come to my class,” Doeden said. “I always know when I come here for a class I’m going to see all these friendly, happy faces in the crowd and now since I’ve been coming for seven years, a lot of them are familiar faces. I feel like...once a year I’m connecting with old friends, I love it.”

Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.