Connie Rickard, director of Trinity Heights Respite Care, saw a need. While the concept of a women's fair is not new to the area (with a large event in Wichita annually), she said local women often have to travel out of the Newton community to experience that — and she, personally, wanted to see something offered a little closer to home.
"I kept thinking it'd be really nice if we had something for the women in our surrounding area that would be easy to get to and more catered to just our area," Rickard said. "It would be people from our area who are vendors, people from our area giving demonstrations. That's what started it."
Trinity Heights Respite Care will host its first women's expo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 1 at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, 1200 Boyd Ave., with the goal being both to get the word out about Trinity Heights Respite Care's mission and empower women with tools they can use in their daily life.
Specific to Trinity Heights Respite Care's mission — serving families who have children ages birth to 16 years old with special needs — there will be a Bal-A-Vis-X demonstration (something the organization uses with its clients) to highlight how that program can help both kids and aging adults with mobility, memory and balance.
Other demonstrations will focus more on the empowerment goal Rickard is hoping to achieve through offering the women's expo, as there will be a free self-defense class from 1 to 3:30 p.m., a CPR demonstration by Newton Fire/EMS, personal finance and resume building classes, a discussion on women's health and more.
"I'm looking at it to just give women information on organizations or sources that they may need in their life. I think a lot of times women don't reach out. They think, 'Oh, I will.' I just think this is a way to really connect with some of our speakers that are going to be here," Rickard said. "I just want them to be able to stand on their own and have confidence they can do things as a single mom or just a woman themselves."
Along with the demonstrations, 30-plus vendors will be on site selling their products, a fashion show will be held and there will be food trucks, including Taco Mike's and Comfort & Joy, providing lunch.
Rickard said she is hopeful the women's expo may be a learning experience for those who attend, that they may find out about services available to them throughout town — and she has already heard a lot of positive feedback.
"Everyone I talk to about speaking, or the vendors, just thought it was a great idea of something to have right here in Newton," Rickard said.
Cost to attend the Trinity Heights Respite Care women's expo will be $5 (or free for students attending with a paying adult). For more information on the vendors or demonstrations, visit Trinity Heights Respite Care on Facebook or call 316-283-6441.