WOWing the crowd

From left, Brittanny Teiberis and Merry Marshall hold up Adri Teiberis and Lexi Scott at the Swarovski’s Touchstone Crystal Jewelry booth at Sunday’s WOW Expo at Truman Hotel.

From left, Brittanny Teiberis and Merry Marshall hold up Adri Teiberis and Lexi Scott at the Swarovski’s Touchstone Crystal Jewelry booth at Sunday’s WOW Expo at Truman Hotel.

Women flocked to this weekend’s first WOW (Women’s Official Weekend) Expo to get pampered and browse among the 67 vendors.

“I just wanted to bring Jefferson City an annual event to teach women, empower them to do new things, and just to help vendors and local business grow,” said co-organizer Alicia Arnett. She estimated about 1,000 people attended.

Before the event even took place, Arnett and fellow organizer Lindsey Forck had planned to make it an annual event, and they were even more convinced after the reaction they had this weekend.

Forck said 99 percent of the suggestion cards gave the event positive reviews, and what little criticism they got was good and will lead to changes next year. “A lot of vendors are already trying to book for next year,” she said.

Brittanny Teiberis was at the event with daughter Adri and Merry Marshall, who was watching Lexi Scott.

“We just thought it would be good for the girls,” Brittanny Teiberis said.

Marshall said she enjoyed “Happy Feet,” the foot message booth, as well as the wine tasting.

The girls, meanwhile, liked getting ballet tutus and candy.

The event also featured informative shows ranging from cooking to health and fitness.

It’s a for-profit event, but part of the proceeds are donated to a needy family. This year’s donation will go to the Kramer family in Rich Fountain.

Mary Kremer’s youngest of five children, Emmy, 11, was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, which has left her without a full immune system and has afflicted major organs of her body.

She’s spent more than 1,000 days in hospitals, and been life-flighted or driven by ambulance 37 times to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, her mom says.

The mortality rate for the disease is 85 percent in the first six months. But Mary Kremer said her daughter is a fighter.

“Every day she has is a hard day,” she said. “She’s really changed me as a woman emotionally, and spiritually as a person of faith. She’s really inspiring to me.”

Emmy said she was enjoying the event: “They gave me a box of chocolate chip cookie (mix)!” she said, adding that she wanted to go back to the ballroom to get a makeover.

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