Plenty for all ages at Celebrating Moms!

  • Rachel Stevenson, left, independent consultant for Creative Memories, helps Emma Burnham, 4, with some scrapbooking stickers as Emma and her grandmother, Tanya Burnham, of Williamsport enjoy the day together Saturday at the "Celebrating Moms!" event at the Valley Mall.
By Kelly Hahn Johnson/Staff Photographer,

HALFWAY -- Carole Gessner is a 55-year-old grandmother.

Her daughter, Rachael Obloy, 19, is a new mom.

Though the two are at disparate stages of life, both found plenty to do Saturday at the Celebrating Moms! event at Valley Mall.

Gessner counted Avon and Tupperware vendors among the highlights, but found plenty else to interest her. She signed up for a chance to win a 6-foot-by-9-foot Disney character rug for her grandson and planned to speak with a representative from Antietam Cable.

"One booth even had edible glitter. I thought it was the coolest thing," Gessner said. "I saw this (event) advertised in the paper and thought it would be awesome to come out. Never did I think there would be this much to offer."

Obloy noted that organizers catered to a broad range of interests for mothers of various ages. Nearly 50 vendors participated. Health and fitness and martial arts programs provided demonstrations throughout the day.


"It's kind of cool to bring moms together with all these different opportunities," Obloy said. "People talked to me about different programs and about getting started in home selling so you can stay at home with your kids."

The Herald-Mail hosted Celebrating Moms! in conjunction the kickoff of, a new Web site for and about mothers in the local area.

Liz Thompson, The Herald-Mail's digital director, said the site was up and running as of Friday, and that features still are being added. She said the site is similar to Facebook in that users need to register and log in. They then have access to forums and opportunities to connect with other people.

"We want it to be a sort of hub for moms, where they can find useful information and come together with other people in various stages of mothering," Thompson said. "It's very intuitive and easy to use. We're really excited."

Randi McClure, special events coordinator for The Herald-Mail, said the Celebrating Moms! event and the kickoff were both designed to address an array of mothers' concerns. Vendors sold jewelry, cosmetics, candles, home decor and even mattresses. Service providers offered photography, medical care, auto maintenance, spa treatments, and mosquito and tick control services.

"It's basically a one-stop shop for anything a mom could possibly want on any given Saturday," McClure said.

Eva Phillips, 40, of Martinsburg, W.Va., said she was happy to learn about child-focused dental care provider Kool Smiles.

"I had a good dentist when I was a kid, so I had no fear of going," Phillips said. "I was hoping to find one for my daughter, Makayla, so I am really happy to see this."

Michelle Passarell, 38, of Hagerstown, visited vendors with her daughter, Zoe, 4, while her husband, Eric, assisted with a self-defense demonstration.

"Basically, anything that makes life a little bit easier is offered here for moms," Passarell said. "They should do this every year."

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