Annual Greenville event attracts new and returning attendees


By Emilee Nielsen • Last Updated 12:39 pm on Monday, March 13, 2017

GentriKing, center right, helps Girl Scouts Amaya Farr, 9, far left, and Jade King, 7, from Girl Scout Troop 4175 sell cookies during Saturday’s Spring Fling for Women at Greenville High School. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

GREENVILLE — Despite Saturday’s brisk outdoor temperatures, spring was in the air at Greenville High School.

The annual Spring Fling for Women event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. was packed with people from the moment the doors opened.

Featured at the expo were a long list of local organizations, ranging from Flo’s Pizzeria, Greenville Floral, Anderson & Girls Orchard and Montcalm Community College. Private business owners were also on hand for attendees to browse, including LuLaRoe, Norwex and Origami Owl. More than 70 local organizations, groups and businesses were represented at the expo.

Julie Stafford, publisher of The Daily News — the main sponsor and host of the event — said the day went as planned and was exactly what she hoped for. She said she heard comments from many people about how they didn’t know some of the featured businesses and organizations existed in the community.

“That was what my vision was; to show people we have stuff here that’s relevant to every part of their life whether it’s entertainment or health or things to buy,” she said.

Stafford estimated Saturday’s turnout for attendees was the highest yet for the expo.

This year, the event featured several more service groups than in the past. Stafford hoped having more service groups at the expo would inspire attendees to get involved in the community and open their eyes to what’s available for them.

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“That’s another thing that’s important to me, for people to realize there’s a place for their time,” Stafford said. “They don’t have to just give money.”

Sandra Thelen of From No Defense to Self Defense had a booth at the expo for the first time and she felt good about getting her message out there to many people. Thelen teaches self defense primarily for women, but she’s recently branched into family classes.

She said she hoped to drive home the point of self defense as prevention to the people she talked to Saturday.

“I want you to know you can protect yourself. I want you to know you can defend yourself if (a situation) arises,” she said.

Shari McCarty, a Greenville resident, had a good first time attending the expo.

“It looks like a nice representation of the community and the outlying areas,” she said. “There were quite a few assisted livings I didn’t know about and some of the women have their own businesses I wouldn’t have known about.”

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