‘Oh Baby, Baby Expo’ for mothers and mothers-to-be

‘Oh Baby, Baby Expo’ for mothers and mothers-to-be

By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer

On Saturday, May 10, one day before Mother’s Day, Cliffbreakers is hosting the “Oh Baby, Baby Expo” for mothers-to-be through those with preschoolers. In light of Mother’s Day, the conference center is kicking off their celebration of “Mother’s Week” with this inaugural celebration. The appreciation of maternity is the theme, and Cliffbreakers has taken every measure to ensure the most informative and latest in pre-and post-natal care and technology.

As a special event for all women who have experienced the blessing of pregnancy and children, or those who are looking forward to it, the expo will include a “baby shower” gourmet luncheon at 12:30 p.m. and a program and maternity fashion show at 1:15 p.m. Throughout the day, more than 50 vendors and presentation booths will be on hand with the latest in maternity retail items and care. Representatives from formula companies, photographers, jewelers, childrens’ and women’s clothing makers to college fund organizations will be available to offer their products and answer questions. Childrens’ author John Gile will be there with copies of his book Keeping First Things First, and will discuss the work. Door prizes and goodie bags will be given away as well.

“This is a unique event for women in the Rockford area,” Sue McCarren, event coordinator, emphasized, and it truly is. There will be an unusual novelty display by an artist who creates wall hangings by taking pre-natal tummy casts, and designs them for expectant mothers; an unusual memento of the nine months of expectation. Add the vendors, the upscale food, the atmosphere and the guest appearances, and you’ve got a remarkable celebration for maternity.

Jodi Benson, a Rockford native, will sign autographs and give a vocal performance on Saturday. She will host a discussion with her husband Ray for all mothers and mothers-to-be during the day-long event. She is recognized as a role model for many women as a mother, a professional actress/singer and as a wife. She is most well known as the voice of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid and has also had an extensive career as the voice for various projects such as a Barbie commercial and The Little Mermaid TV series. She has also enjoyed a career on and off Broadway, and was in the animated NBC special Precious Moments. Having an extensive history as a performance artist has not distracted Benson from what is most important in her life—family. Taking time out of her busy schedule between narrating for children’s tapes and plans for her next Disney project as Lady in the remake of the 1955 classic, Lady and the Tramp, she will act as inspiration and encouragement to attendees of the expo. She and her husband will discuss their life, love, Christian values, handling the home as a professional couple, family and careers. The Bensons gave birth to their first child, McKinley Benson, in January 1999, and have been blessed with another recently, Delaney Benson, 23 months.

McCarren commented, “We are excited to be able to provide an event to offer information and support for mothers and moms-to-be. It will be fun and informative …and it’s truly the perfect Mother’s Day gift.”

Cliffbreakers is also offering Mother’s Day Suite Packages, which include tickets for the expo, a standard suite room, a Sunday Mother’s Day brunch for two, and a commemorative picture frame for $150.

The event will be at the Renaissance Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Advanced registration is necessary. Tickets for the special event are $15 per person and can be reserved by calling Sue McCarron at 282-3033, ext. 406.

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