From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — Organizers of Saturday’s Blue Star Holistic Health Exposition at the Holiday Inn were thrilled by the turnout for the event, which coincided with Homecoming weekend festivities.
“This was beyond our wildest dreams,” said E.J. Holly, one of the principal organizers. Even an hour before the expo closed, a steady stream of visitors stopped by booths operated by the more than 30 vendors and participants. In the afternoon, Holly had to rush out to obtain more copies of keynote speaker Robert Harding’s books.
“I fell in love with your country ... The American people are the warmest, most welcoming, hospitable people in the world,” Harding said to start his talk. He described how a vision of the Virgin Mary “changed my life forever.”
After the vision, Harding, a London resident, said he became aware of a spiritual gift of healing. He also described his visits to the Hopi people of Arizona and his encounters with their traditions.
Lately, Harding has resumed writing songs; he’s already issued one CD, “This was my Life.”
Participants and vendors were pleased with the expo.
In the first hour or two of the expo, massage therapist Debbie Stallings of Integrative Therapy of Valley View was giving her third chair massage. She decided to participate in the expo to educate people about the health benefits of massage.
Visitors were pleased with the wide variety of offerings.
“I’m interested in holistic health and holistic healing, and I wanted to see what this was,” said Christie of Cumberland. She preferred not to give her last name for publication.
Holistic life coach C. J. Cangianelli had copies of her books and other information at her table. People are coming to “a recognition that they have control over their lives and health,” and that’s one of the reasons the expo was a success, she said.
“Wellness is the way we’re ging to overcome the tremendous illness problems we have,” said Mary C. Miltenberger of Terra Angelica Wellness Education Center.
Pam Jan, representing Green, Clean and Healthy, offered a wide rangle of natural, non-toxic cleaning products. While the products are safe, Jan said, they “provide cleaning power equal to or better than anything on the market.”
Cecile Gilchrest, the founder of Red Hawk Ayurveda, was on her feet for almost the full eight hours of the expo, explaining the principles of the traditional system of Indian wellness to a steady stream of inquirers.