The Women's Business Alliance of Richmond Hill encourages residents to shop locally and spend their dollars with area merchants. To accomplish this, the group is hosting its second annual Hometown Expo, Get to know Richmond Hill, Friday and Saturday Feb. 24 and 25 at the Richmond Hill City Center.
More than 50 vendors will participate in this year's expo, setting up booths in the City Center ballroom to showcase their wares and services.
"A lot of residents in the community aren't aware of what businesses we have in Richmond Hill," said event coordinator and WBA vice president Shirley Heagerty. "The expo gives those people a chance to shop local and explore businesses they might not have seen before."
Heagerty said Friday's events are business-to-business only, but Saturday is free and open to the public.
Saturday's session will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and will give guests a chance to peruse the booths and speak to the individual business representatives.
"We have an array of vendors participating," she said. "There will be everything from jewelry to financial services to technology to a drawing to win tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters and gift cards."
For children in attendance, there will be a face painting booth and prize giveaways from Jump N' Jacks play center in Richmond Hill.
"We've got a little something for all age groups," said Heagerty. "From the young to the young of heart, no one will go away disappointed."
The WBA will also hold event-wide drawings for guests. The total value of the prizes will be about $500. Vendors will also hold individual drawings and offer product samples at their booths as incentives for attendants.
A full buffet lunch, provided by the City Center, will be available to guests at 11 a.m. for $10 per person.
Heagerty said last year's expo was a "tremendous success" and estimated that more than 400 community members turned out to support the local vendors. The event garnered a net profit of $3,000.
"If we can achieve the same turnout and response again this year, it would be really wonderful," she said.
The Hometown Expo is the primary fundraiser for the Women's Business Alliance. Proceeds finance the club's expenses, and any additional profits will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. Last year, the group donated $500 of their total revenue to the American Cancer Society.
For more information about the expo, call Shirley Heagerty at 657-3479.