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FCPL set for 3rd Women's Expo

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GUEST SPEAKER: Local author Janis Thornton is one of three inspirational speakers featured at Saturday's third-annual Women's Expo at the Frankfort Community Public Library.
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GUEST SPEAKER: Local author Janis Thornton is one of three inspirational speakers featured at Saturday's third-annual Women's Expo at the Frankfort Community Public Library.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

The Frankfort Community Public Library is ready to host its third annual Women's Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.

“We are very, very busy putting together last minute things and making sure all the vendors are on track and that we are answering all of their questions,” FCPL's Jamie Anderson said. “There will be about 37 different booths.”

This year's Women's Expo features three inspirational speakers in local author Janis Thornton, holocaust survivor, author and forgiveness advocate Eva Kor and entrepreneur Rosa Gaeta Cornejo.

Thornton will speak on the Skanta stage starting at 10 a.m. She will discuss her book, “Too Good a Girl: Remembering Olene Emberton and the Mystery of Her Death,” which she wrote about her Tipton High School classmate, Olene Emberton. Thornton will be joined on stage by former Howard County Sheriff Marty Talbert, who reopened the Emberton case in the 1990s. The book will be available for purchase at the Expo.

“I have known Janis Thornton for a number of years, since I am from Tipton,” Anderson said. “I have read the book, and I know so many people from that book.”

Kor will follow Thornton at 1 p.m. in the Skanta Theatre. Her presentation will be live-streamed throughout the library by WILO, and they can watch online at Clinton County Daily News thanks to sponsorship from Center Township. Tickets will be distributed an hour before the start of Kor's presentation and limited to one per person. They may not be reserved in advance.

Kor will be available for photo opportunities after the presentation, and her book, “Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz,” will be available for purchase for $12.

“I have seen her twice, and she is really great,” Anderson said. “She had heart surgery here recently, but she has already spoke at a school at Wisconsin, and she is ready to be here.”

The final speaker of the day, Cornejo, will begin her presentation at 3 p.m. in the Skanta Theatre. Her presentation will be given in Spanish and translated into English. According to a FCPL release, Cornejo came to the United States from Mexico as an adult. She learned English and opened a small bakery as a single mother. She is now the owner and operator of four popular bakeries in Indiana by the name of Mamá Inés Mexican Bakery.

“I met with some of the leaders in the Latino community and wanted to make this (Expo) more inclusive. They suggested Rosa, so I started talking to her, and we lined her up.

“She lived in Mexico,” she added. “Her mother was a single mother of 11 kids. I believe when she was 16 when she came to the United States with very little money and very little English. She had a dream to open a bakery, and she is now a full owner of four bakeries. Her children work for her too in the bakeries, and she is hoping that one day they will each have their own bakery.”

In addition to the inspirational speakers, there will be around 30 women-owned businesses at the Women's Expo, and their products will be for sale throughout the day. A complete list of vendors featured at the Expo can be found online at myfcpl.org/womens-expo. In place of a booth fee, each vendor donated an item to the Expo's raffle. Tickets for the raffle will be available for $1 each during the Expo.

Several organizations will also have booths at the Expo.

“The Indiana Adoption Program will be here,” Anderson said. “They are going to discuss how to get foster kids or older kids adopted because they are the ones who usually get passed over. They push for older children so they are not lost in the system and can find a loving home.”

Even after the third-annual Women's Expo comes to a close, the artwork of Becky Heimann and Rosa Maria Dies will be on display in the Anna & Harlan Hubbard Gallery throughout the month. According to a release sent by the FCPL, Heimann is a printmaker from Indianapolis who is a lover of nature, and her artwork often reflects this. Dies is a printmaker and also creates mixed media pieces. Most of her work depicts women, but she also paints nature, still lifes and abstracts. Both artists participated in the FCPL's annual art show last November and have pieces in the library’s permanent art collection. Becky and Rosa Maria will be present at the Expo to answer questions and talk about their artwork.

“Their stuff is beautiful,” Anderson said. “They look great together. They are very colorful. I have a couple of Becky's pieces in my house. They are great. They will both have a booth with (art) for sale. All of their artwork is available for purchase.”

The Women's Expo is sponsored by The Friends of the Frankfort Library, Psi Iota Xi, Zonta, Regions Bank and Ruth Lock.