Northwest Georgia Women’s Expo on tap for Saturday

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Billed as “something for every woman,” Northwest Georgia Women’s Expo & Artisans' Market will return to Cartersville Saturday.

Presented by Vein Specialists of Northwest Georgia and The Daily Tribune News, the event will be underway from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, 5450 Highway 20.

"The purpose of the event is to showcase products and services for women,” said Karon Mauney, owner and event coordinator of the Women’s Expo. “That encompasses everything from health and fitness to fashion and time management. We have over 100 booths this year with almost 30 new vendors.

“It's always great to welcome back familiar faces — those vendors that we have come to know and appreciate through the years. Their continued support is a testimony that this event does have a return on their investment. It's always exciting, however, to welcome new vendors with new products and services. Some of our guests walk away from this event with new careers. I love hearing success stories of women discovering products that they love and end up representing, which now helps support their family financially. There is definitely a sense of accomplishment when you hear of those stories and how this event has changed people's lives.”

Along with vendors, the event will feature the Artisans’ Market in Stilesboro Hall, free health screenings by WellStar Community Education & Outreach; a performance by singer/guitarist Chesley Stephens; a cruz-in, courtesy of Lake Allatoona Region AACA Car Club from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Bartow County Library System’s Pop-Up Library; Songs for Sound; and door prizes.

The Daily Tribune News will give away six pairs of concert tickets to Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life tour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To be eligible for the concert tickets, patrons need to register at DTN’s booth.

Situated outside the Clarence Brown Conference Center, Songs for Sound will be offering complimentary hearing screenings, protection and education.

“Hearing loss is a growing global epidemic,” said Jaime Vernon, executive director and founder of Songs for Sound. “The sound is getting louder and closer to the most precious parts of our ear that allow us to have healthy hearing. Hearing health is important as it relates to our social life, healthy brain function and even our careers.

“Women are the gateway to the health of our family members. We are so excited to serve the Northwest Georgia Women's Expo & Artisans’ Market because we can empower women to not only take control of their own hearing health, but also the hearing health of all their family members. The women-focused events we've served have all produced record outcomes in terms of number of screenings and participation. We expect this weekend will be just that.”

She continued, “… They will take away information on hearing health; products, like hearing protection to keep their ears safe; touch/feel demos of hearing technology, like presenting sponsor Cochlear Americas’ cochlear implant or a Phonak hearing aid. They will understand what an audiogram is, what it means and where their hearing level is. If any sign of hearing loss, we refer them to a local audiologist. However, we encourage everyone, just like their eyes and teeth, to get their ears checked annually.”

Calling their service a “clinic of hope,” Vernon is delighted that her daughter’s journey has turned into an outreach effort that continues to help others with hearing challenges. Born in 2007, Lexi was diagnosed with bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss when she was around 1 year old.

“God has blessed us beyond measure with a deaf child who can hear a whisper, use spoken language and excel at life on so many levels,” Vernon said. “To see that gift passed on across the U.S. and even beyond, it’s immeasurable. When people share how withdrawn they are in social groups, or how they have little connection to their spouse, I get it. Those are real outcomes of untreated hearing loss. I’ve seen people cry and hugged so many because they didn’t have the information or know-how to get help.

“That’s what this mission is... it’s a clinic of hope. It pleases me to no end to see all the good we are able to do, and deep down, I understand what each person is going through.”

The expo initially started in 2009 as a benefit for the American Red Cross’ Bartow Service Center, when Mauney was the nonprofit’s financial development director. Although the event now is a for-profit offering operated by Mauney, it continues to assist area charities.

“In 2011 when the event became the Northwest Georgia Women's Expo, a limited liability company, I knew that I would continue giving back to the community,” Mauney said. “While it is a for-profit business, I donate $1,000 to a local nonprofit group each year. This year, the recipient is Orphan Aid, Liberia. Even though they are the 2019 recipient, the donation was actually made in the fall of 2017 on giving Tuesday. That $1,000 donation turned into $2,000 because of the generosity of an anonymous donor.”

Tickets to the Women’s Expo will be $5. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page — Northwest Georgia Women’s Expo.