News: 4th Women's Expo provides education, recreation
Story by Lance Cpl. Jackeline Perez Rivera
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - The 4th annual Women’s Expo was held at the New Bern Convention Center in New Bern, N.C., Sept. 15 giving local women a chance to explore their health care and commercial needs.
Hosted by the Sun Journal, New Bern’s local newspaper, the expo had vendors covering various aspects of their well being with booths featuring healthcare providers sharing information on a variety of health topics, and others selling a number of products and services.
“I find when it’s a specific event just for women, it gives them an opportunity to really look for their own personal needs instead of the whole family,” said Robert Homan, an insurance representative. “This event works well. I always enjoy coming here. The ladies always appreciate getting direct answers rather than answers from a third party.”
CarolinaEast Health System displayed exhibits on breastfeeding, breast health, reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, as well as advanced directives and support groups.
“It’s a part of our mission to do outreach in the community,” said Kelsey Atkins, a public relations specialist with CarolinaEast Health System. “This is a special event because women make so many decisions about healthcare for their families. This is a great audience to give out information about all of the topics that would be of interest to women of various ages.”
However, more than health concerns were addressed.
“It’s also fun,” said Judy Avery, the general manager of the Sun Journal. “In addition to being educational, there’s lots of shopping, demonstrations and activities. People can come, have a good time and make a difference.”
Caroline McGath, a photographer who specializes in newborn portraits, said the Women’s Expo is one of her biggest venues. She reaches moms and expecting moms through events like this. A military spouse, McGath set up seven studios throughout her career.
“This is a good place to get to know the community [particularly] local businesses,” said McGath. “It’s hard when you move around to find other military families who are in business.”
Other businesses present included wardrobe stylists, cookie makers, and a number of other small businesses and corporations.
The expo provided more than recreation and education. On a bigger scale, the event donated 50 percent of its proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
Another Women’s Expo is scheduled to take place in Jacksonville in October.