Expo lets women take a break, have some fun
If you go
What: Third Annual Rock County Women's Expo.
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18.
Where: Pontiac Convention Center, 2809 N. Pontiac Drive, Janesville.
Admission: Free. Nonperishable food donations are suggested.
Schedule of activities
-- Beginner yoga, 11:15-11:45 a.m.
-- Identity theft prevention and common legal concerns, noon-12:30 p.m.
-- Pole exercising, 1:15-2 p.m.
-- Women's self-defense, 2:15-3 p.m.
-- Personal empowerment life coaching, 3:15-3:45 p.m.
-- Featured speaker Tiffaney Malott, author of "30 Days to a Better You," will talk about living life in balance, 12:30-1 p.m. and 4-4:30 p.m.
JANESVILLE This year's Rock County Women's Expo will benefit nonprofit groups and provide women with free opportunities to attend classes, demonstrations and vendor displays, hear a guest speaker and visit a food court.
"It's a hodgepodge, fabulous event," said Rita Key, coordinator.
Key, 45, of Beloit, founded the women-only event three years ago after becoming aware of nonprofits in the community during the last year of her husband's life.
"There had to be a way these organizations could be better exposed to raise awareness, funds and support to help them keep going," she said.
Plus, Key said, she needed an outlet to keep her active after she quit school and her job to care for her husband, Ray, who was diagnosed with nonsmoking lung cancer in 2002 and died in 2008.
The first expo featured only vendors and was attended by 500 women. Last year's event was highlighted by a total image makeover and attracted 1,200 ladies.
Key attributed growth to word spreading about the expo and adding something new each year. This year, she said, classes have been added: yoga, identity theft and prevention, common legal concerns and women's self-defense.
Key is most excited about the new pole-exercise classes and demonstrations that were added to draw younger women even though the expo's primary demographic is those ages 30 to 55, she said.
"Pole exercise is an aerobics class that is a fun way to shed extra pounds, gain muscle tone and explore one's femininity and sensuality. It's also for women of all shapes and sizes, who will develop skills and gain self-confidence while getting the ultimate workout," according Miss Pole, the Madison/New Berlin-based business that will be present at the expo.
The expo will provide women other experiences the community has to offer, Key said.
Fifty-three vendors have signed up to be involved in the expo, themed "Wisconsin-Owned and Grown." But Key is hoping to add at least 17 more. Vendor areas will focus on education, nutrition, in-home parties and home maintenance, she said.
The expo gives educational display space to different nonprofits each year.
This year they are the American Red Cross, HospiceCare Inc. of Janesville, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sexual Assault Recovery Program, Family Respite Care Service and Transitions, an extension of Beloit Regional Hospice.
The groups will split profits made by food vendors, who also will be provided space at no cost, Key said.
Flu shots, gift bags stuffed with coupons and demonstrations also will be given throughout the day.
"It is time just to take a break and have some leisure fun," Key said. "And it doesn't cost you anything."