Women's fair hopes to build strength in numbers March gathering scheduled at college

September 29, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Women of all ages will be invited to the Carroll County Women's Fair in March -- a daylong educational event designed to build esprit de corps among women.

"It will be a great opportunity for women to get together and do networking. There is strength in numbers," said Ellen Willis, a fair committee member and coordinator of training for business and industry at Carroll Community College.

A group of about 35 women is planning the fair for Sunday, March 28, 1993, at CCC, said chairwoman Kay Garnish, 53, of Eldersburg.

Ms. Garnish is a past president of the Carroll County League of Women Voters and past adviser to the Board of Education on Title 9, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools. She owns a marketing business.

Men will be welcome at the fair, but events will be geared toward women's interests, she said.

The day will include a series of workshops and a guest speaker at lunch. Specifics haven't been decided, but topics will range from the serious to the light-hearted, from health and legal issues to belly dancing and wine tasting, Ms. Garnish said.

Organizers hope to draw speakers from Carroll, she said.

The fair is patterned after the 8-year-old Frederick County Women's Fair, said Ms. Garnish, who has attended the neighboring fair for the past several years.

Up to 800 people have attended the Frederick fair annually, said Nadine C. Heusser of Frederick, a past fair chairwoman.

The fair gives "a feeling of women working together toward a goal," she said. Women ages 18 to 88 have attended, she said. The cost has been about $10.

The cost for the Carroll fair has not been determined, but organizers hope to keep it as low as possible, Ms. Garnish said.

The committee plans to have a brochure touting the fair finished by around the first of next year.

Other workshop topics may include building self-esteem, improving negotiating skills, staying active when older, coping with both elderly parents and young children, cooking healthful foods, family planning and exploring school options for children.

The fair also will have an area for non-profit groups and lTC businesses to distribute information.

Organizers hope the event will start a tradition in Carroll, Ms. Garnish said. "Women will have a chance to get together and talk out issues common to all women," she said.

Senate hearings last year for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas -- now a justice on the court -- showed that "things haven't changed a whole lot" for women, she said.

Anita Hill, a woman who testified against the nominee, was not treated well by the all-male Senate committee, she said.

The fair committee is composed of women from a variety of backgrounds, but organizers are concerned that no black women are represented, Ms. Garnish said.

Anyone interested in participating should contact her at 795-6194.

Ruth Reagan, a committee member and Westminster insurance agent, said she hoped the fair would appeal to women in a variety of jobs.

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