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Expo celebrates working women

Apr. 24, 2013 @ 07:09 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Women of all ages and walks of life converged on the Big Sandy Superstore Arena on Tuesday for the 23rd annual KEE100 Working Women's Expo.

What started out as an event for Secretary's Day 23 years ago evolved into a working women's event and has become an annual attraction for all women.

"It's a way to celebrate women who work or stay at home with their kids -- because let's face it, being a mom is work, too," said Tracey Baumgard, the event's coordinator.

They have the opportunity to visit with and get freebies from various vendors representing several fields -- health care, beauty, retail, education and more. And they sample offerings from a number of local restaurants. A Huntington Mall fashion show is part of the event as well.

"It's a great way to reach out to a lot of women at once," Baumgard said.

That's true, said Kim Rice, who along with Crystal Lugwig represented Macy's Clinique counter at the expo. They handed out free wrinkle serum and answered questions about skin care.

"I think it's great we get to touch people in Huntington because sometimes they don't get to the mall," Rice said. "They're so appreciative of every bit of information they can get. It's not about filling their bags but getting information."

Barbie Wood, executive assistant to Chef Paul Runnel of two local restaurants, Blackhawk Grille in Barboursville and Chimney Corner Cafe in Ashland, handed out cups of chocolate.

They're happy to support an event that's a place "to culturally exchange ideas, catch up on fashion and see what's available in the marketplace," Wood said.

Among the women perusing vendors' stands and enjoying the food was Sharon Lewis, who works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District. She also won a gift basket from a local spa.

"We come every year to try food from the variety of local restaurants and franchise restaurants," she said, adding that it's a good way to check out fare from new restaurants and learn about new businesses.