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Home show provides answers

February 28, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Home matters.

To the 230 vendors at the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association's 14th annual Home Show at Martinsburg Mall, to the 40,000 shoppers who came looking for answers, to the 12-member committee that spent nine months organizing the three-day event, chairman Jonathan Sherman said home matters.

"Regardless of what industry we work in, we all go home at the end of the day," Sherman said. "Home matters to each and every one of us, so this theme just fell into place like a puzzle piece."

David Hartley, executive officer of the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association, said seeing the mall packed with people, despite economic uncertainty, proved home matters to residents of the Eastern Panhandle as much as it does to the vendors who have made matters of the home their bread and butter.

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Dora Nagle and her husband, George, have owned their house in Charles Town, W.Va., for 10 years and have spent that time getting their hands dirty making it into a home.

Like many of the people who visited the Home Show this weekend, the Nagles sought advice and direction on projects that were too much to "do-it-yourself."

"We were looking for stone siding and someone to answer questions about our well," Dora Nagle said. "These vendors are not just here to sell us services. They are here to help, and we found so much more information than we ever thought."

The wealth of information on area products and services is what makes the Home Show so successful, Sherman said.

Every corner of the home, from appliances to landscaping, from heating to new construction, and even Tupperware, had an exhibit.

Hartley said there is nothing better for the business or the customer than speaking face to face, and the Home Show puts vendors face to face with thousands of people who need or want their services for three straight days.

Jay Messenger, general manager of Smoot's LLC, a landscaping company in Kearneysville, W.Va., said his company typically books about 70 percent of its consultations through the Home Show.

The exposure to potential clients is worth every penny, Messenger said.

Because the show is so profitable to businesses, Sherman said some businesses will pay more than $600 for a booth.

The money raised through booth fees and the silent auction benefits the Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association, Hartley said, as well as charities such as Habitat for Humanity.

And no matter what home-related challenge you walked into the Home Show with, if you kept looking and listening, the answer was there, Dora Nagle said.




If you go



What: Eastern Panhandle Home Builders Association's 14th annual Home Show

When: Today, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Martinsburg (W.Va.) Mall

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