NASHUA - As women walked through the doors of Sky Meadow Country Club on Wednesday night for the Every Woman Expo to take in free wine and crackers and learn about skin care, health care and pole dancing, they got a surprise. The last thing most probably expected to encounter was a tall, fit, powerful woman dressed from head to toe in football gear.
"We promote empowerment," said Georgine Clancy, public relations director of the Manchester Freedom, a semipro women's tackle football team. "The majority of our players wish they would have had it in high school."Clancy, of Hudson, said the expo in Nashua was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the football team. With a sign behind them reading, "It's not just a man's game," players were handing out free tickets to their season opener at 4 p.m. Saturday at Manchester West High School.
Clancy was grateful this event was created.
"It shows how successful we women can be," she said.
After being greeted at the expo, attendees got a pink kiss stamp on their hand and were given a purple bag filled with special offers from outside vendors as well as vendors who were in attendance and a rose that was donated from Merrimack Flower Shop and Greenhouse.
"It's great that everything a woman can need is in one area," said Alissa Thornton, of Milford.
Thornton was there with her sister Heather Thornton, 19, of Milford and her co-worker and friend Melissa Gillespie, 27, of Hollis.
"It's great that they have a lot of health stuff, a lot of educational stuff for women," Gillespie said.
With make-up stations, a wine tasting, massages and health screenings, attendees of the expo, which was presented by The Telegraph, were given a little bit of everything.
There were demonstrations throughout the night, including two self-defense lessons by Tokyo Joe's Studios of Self Defense. Manchester's Pole Bliss hosted a pole-dancing demonstration.
"It's a lot of fun, and it's meant to be fun," Pole Bliss assistant teacher Lindsey Brisbane, said of the pole-dancing lesson.
Brisbane, who was once a student at the studio and is now a teacher, also teaches burlesque, the classic art of strip tease. She said this expo provides a positive atmosphere for women and added that she thinks it's a great opportunity for women to get together.
"It's nice to see how far women have come, throughout history," she said.
Karen Cerato, of Hollis, was at the expo promoting her reiki business, a form of natural healing.
"Women are really attuned to looking at their body," she said. "What we have in common is that we're looking to improve our health."
Cerato has been practicing reiki since 2002 and thinks it's very important for women to take some time and relax.
"We're wearing a lot of hats," she said about why women are feeling so pressured.
"With all the opportunities women have today," she said her business offers "the opportunity to feel more centered, feel less stressed, and feel more balanced energetically."
Half of the proceeds were given to the Nashua Pastoral Care Center, a nonprofit organization to help individuals and families in crisis; for more information visit www.nashuanpcc.org.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to do this," Cerato said. "I wanted to be involved."
This article appears in the April 10 2009 issue of New Hampshire Business Review