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Women’s Expo offers up info, food and freebies

WORTHINGTON -- Some people come for the seminars, to find out pertinent health information or to glean new recipes. Others like to learn about the newest products and services available in the local area. And there are also the tasty treats and l...

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Hy-Vee hands out gourmet cupcakes at the Women’s Expo. Jesse Trelstad/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - Some people come for the seminars, to find out pertinent health information or to glean new recipes. Others like to learn about the newest products and services available in the local area. And there are also the tasty treats and lunch served up by members of the Early Risers Kiwanis Club.

But everyone who attended Saturday’s Women’s Expo Health & Home Show at Minnesota West Community and Technical College came away with a bag full of free stuff - giveaways provided by area businesses.
A newcomer to the Expo’s lineup, the Fulda Area Credit Union had one of the most unique items to hand out - a fold-up bamboo and silk fan.
“We’re encouraging people to be a fan of the Fulda Area Credit Union,” said Brenda Oberloh, program coordinator, who came up with the giveaway idea. “You can be cool by being a fan of the Fulda Area Credit Union, by liking us on Facebook.”
A couple booths away, the Sanford Radiology Department was distributing pink lip balms, providing an opportunity to talk about breast health.
“Nobody wants to talk about mammograms, but we’ve got some good information,” said Sanford radiology supervisor Kelsey Wallace.
Another one of the Sanford stations had small pouches emblazoned with the Sanford logo containing basic health supplies - bandages, antacids, ibuprofen and antiseptic wipes.
“We try to do something different every year,” said Holly Sieve, marketing coordinator. “We try to pick something that the crowd will like … meet the needs of the crowd and change it up.”

First-aid kids were also available at the Walgreens booth, along with foam stress “pills.”
“You just learn from years past what people like,” said store manager Josh Kooiker. “First-aid kits are always something people like, and everyone’s under stress these days.”
At the Minnesota West booth, students in the law enforcement program were giving out lollipops, as well as peace of mind for any parents in attendance.
“We’re doing kids’ fingerprints,” explained second-year student Yoli Salas.”That way, if your child gets lost or something happens, you have that documentation.”
Not all of the giveaways were of the practical type. There were also a couple of indulgences.
Each year, Johnson Builders & Realtors hands out roses to Expo attendees. This year, 40 dozen blooms were available.
“A lot of them say it’s the only time they get a flower all year,” said Renee Baerenwald, who was staffing the Johnson booth along with co-workers Staci Murphy and Toni Brouillet.
“Usually we’re out by 1:30 p.m.,” said Murphy about the flower supply.
For that eventuality, the Johnson agents also had a ready supply of key chains, magnets and chocolates and were also offering up “a free market analysis, if you want one,” according to Baerenwald.
What was perhaps the most popular giveaway was literally gobbled up - gourmet cupcakes from Hy-Vee.
“We have Raspberry Lace and Chocolate Addiction cupcakes,” said store director Zach Shank, who even boxed up some of the goodies for people to take home. “It’s the perfect item for graduation, for family gatherings, and we do a lot of them for weddings. We have other flavors back at the store.”
Shank was pleased with the response to his store’s offering.
“It’s been good, a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “I guess we’ll need to start thinking about we’re going to do next year.”

Related Topics: FOODJOHNSON
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