By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Women from all over the area filled the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center March 1 for a day of fun at the 12th annual Women’s Expo.
“Our aisles were packed as well as the parking lot,” event organizer Julie Sullivan said. “Many stopped or emailed me to say how much they enjoyed the show and this year was the best so far.”
The event’s main purpose is to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan in the memory of Brittany Crawford. Crawford was a senior at Dearborn High School when she lost her battle with leukemia in December 2002.
Sullivan helped create the event in memory of her niece.
“CLF helped Brittany and our family during her illness and we do this to give back to them and help support them and their efforts for over 4,500 families in Michigan,” she said.
The CLF is a statewide organization that provides a variety of services to help meet the needs of its families and patients.
“Some of the things that CLF provides is a stepping stone resource kit to address common issues, the cost of round trip travel for treatment, the cost of a wig, holiday gifts, maintaining a family’s rent for one month, the cost of prescription medications and financial support for the family,” Sullivan said.
Each year the expo raises about $7,000 through admissions, duck pond sales, 50-50 raffles and a silent auction.
“We had around 100 items for people to bid on,” Sullivan said. “Our duck ponds for adults and children are always very popular.”
Ms. Michigan 2015, Rachael Adams, attended and spoke at the event on creating a difference. Biker Bob’s Harley Davidson and Traffic Jam Boutique held fashion shows for the attendees showcasing their products.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) was also in attendance showing her support for women.
Massages and a variety of retail therapy options were highlights for women at the expo.
The expo features 100 exhibitions with a range of products and services for women to explore. The event draws more than 2,000 people annually.
“Guests came out and had loads of fun and forgot about the frigid cold weather we had been experiencing,” Sullivan said.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])