By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – The Family Expo delivered fitness, entertainment, fashion and safety to a 1,000 families at its sixth annual launch.
© Adam Brazeau
The sixth annual GIAG Family Expo offered hundreds of families a plethora of opportunities to learn about various organizations and businesses, while being entertained by a fashion show and live entertainment. Pictured: Karen Vaillancourt and her seven-month old daughter Amy at the Mason Ch.I.P. Ontario child identification program booth.
The Glengarry Inter-Agency Group (GIAG) Family Expo attracted a healthy turnout during a two-day event loaded with activities at the Civic Complex. Local businesses and organizations showcased their services to hundreds of spectators on Oct. 18 and 19.
Karen Vaillancourt left with a free identity kit for her two-year-old daughter that could prove to be priceless during an emergency.
It was a free service being provided at the Mason Ch.I.P. Ontario child identification program booth. Her daughters Cassidy and seven-month-old Amy both took part in a quick procedure that left Vaillancourt and her husband with peace of mind.
"Since my one daughter is autistic, she can't talk. She might run away," said Vaillancourt.
The service gives parents and guardians vital pieces of identification that will enable them to react immediately during a disappearance or kidnapping.
Each identity kit comes with a CD, which has the child's description, three or more digital photos, a video, and digitally scanned fingerprints. An intra-oral cotton swab DNA sample is also included.
"I feel better knowing that it's done," said Vaillancourt. "If one of them runs away, I'll have all this information to give police."
Event organizer Laurie Legue was happy about the turnout for the event.
"It all started wanting to have a home and trade show for families, to have all of the services you need to find," she said.
Legue said there was information on issues concerning mental health, parenting questions, health issues, staying fit, clothing trends and much more.
The Family Expo started as a 'baby show' and has grown into a full family show. French and English performers sang, danced and performed Zumba for hundreds of kids.
Angela Pilon and her daughter Isabelle Pilon were there to support their friend instruct Zumba (Adele Campeau-Wilson). The duo found a little more than they came for.
"We like it because there are a lot of businesses and organizations that we didn't know existed in the area," said Pilon.
The event is hosted by GIAG, HipKids, Centre de santé communautaire de l'Estrie and Ontario Early Years Centres. Brigitte Walker and Kate Scarlett, co-owners of HipKids, said that the expo has forged a great partnership between the various businesses and organizations.