Cuyahoga Falls A variety of activities for people of all ages will be offered at the 2017 Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce Community Expo March 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St.

The expo will feature more than 80 local businesses, non-profit clubs and organizations showcasing information about the services they offer.

Mayor Don Walters will join Chamber CEO Laura Petrella for the Grand Kickoff at 10 a.m. along with the expo committee and event sponsors.

Petrella noted organizers are hoping to see anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 visitors at the event, which has occurred at the Natatorium since 2004. In contrast to last year, the 2017 expo is happening at the start of spring break for students in the Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge school districts.

"We have always had the expo the fourth Saturday in March with great success, even with it during spring break," noted Petrella. "Many families stay local and will bring the family to the expo for a great family-friendly outing."

As of March 16, Petrella said there were 84 exhibitors registered for the event and all spots had been sold out. She noted organizers have added more tables with the media sponsors and Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection being set up in the main lobby of the Natatorium.

The Natatorium offers "built-in foot traffic" for the event and allows first-time visitors to get a "quick view" of the facility "that may encourage them to come back another time," added Petrella.

Admission to the expo is free. A new feature this year is "Talk to a Pharmacist," which is being offered by Western Reserve Hospital at its Gold Sponsor table from 10 a.m. to noon. Expo attendees may bring their medications and have a hospital pharmacist speak with them about proper medication use.

"The expo is an excellent venue to reach the community and create brand awareness," said Kathy Romito, the chamber's board president and community relations manager for Western Reserve Hospital. "I am able to directly engage in meaningful conversations about what our hospital offers, answer questions and begin developing relationships with both consumers and other business owners. The expo attracts a large variety of people from all areas surrounding Cuyahoga Falls and is well worth the investment."

Variety of activities, visitors

Many of the activities from previous years will return March 25. Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection will again offer child identification kits throughout the day. Cuyahoga Falls Good Neighbors will accept donations of canned goods and household paper products all day. Neoshred will offer a Community Shred Day in the Natatorium's parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon. Free shredding of documents will be offered. There is a 10 box or bag limit per customer.

Wheelie of the Akron Racers will pay a visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Webster, the Akron RubberDucks' mascot, will attend the expo from 11 a.m. to noon. Scrappy Raccoon from the city of Cuyahoga Falls will visit the expo from noon to 1 p.m. Captain America from Party People LLC will stop by from 1 to 2 p.m. There will be exhibitor door prize drawings at the podium in the ballroom at 2 p.m.

There will also be face painting offered to children. Sunrise Senior Living is donating the supplies and a volunteer for this feature, according to Petrella.

Wellness & Wealth by Choice is sponsoring a breakroom for exhibitors that will offer healthy snacks, water and coffee.

"We are so proud of the Community Expo year after year because it really helps shine a bright light on the Cuyahoga Falls businesses, clubs, and organizations who participate," said Petrella. "It is great exposure and credibility for them."

Gold sponsors for the event are: Bath Creek Estates; Danbury Senior Living; National Church Residences Bath Road; and Western Reserve Hospital. The Silver sponsor is Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home. Media sponsors are: Falls News Press; Coffee News Akron; WAKR/WONE Radio; and Akron Life Magazine.

Co-chairs of the expo committee are: Aaron Barnhart, Westfield Bank; Marie Cutlip, Better Financial Solutions; Christine Petroff, Peoples Bank; and Keith Viers, Ohio Savings Bank. Other committee members are: Cris Drugan, Gallery of Framing; Ewa Hruby, Courtyard by Marriott/Stow; Sheila James, Bath Creek Estates; Melissa Kolb, Danbury Senior Living; Robert Lagasse, Howard Hanna; Darlene Pinter, BHHS Simon & Salhany Realty; and David Ullmo, Four Corner Promotions.

For more information, call the chamber at 330-929-6756 or visit the website at www.cfchamber.com.

Email: pkeren@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9421