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Shoppers shell out to battle cancer
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Jewelry is displayed Friday during the Susie Q’s first Liberty Shoppers Expo at the Econo Lodge. Twenty-five vendors peddled merchandise. - photo by Photo by Seraine Page
To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Suzie Q’s, a local community group dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness, held its first Liberty Shoppers Expo on Friday. Funds raised go to local treatment, care and support facilities.
The event, at Hinesville’s Econo Lodge, featured 25 vendors selling everything from jewelry and monogrammed purses to Tupperware and candles.
By mid-afternoon, Suzie Q’s founder Deidre Howell said about 100 people had purchased $2 tickets to shop for a cause.
Howell said each vendor donated a prize to be raffled off to shoppers who bought tickets at the door. Vendors also paid $25 fees that will go toward the Suzie Q’s fundraising efforts.  
“Whatever money we make will be donated to local breast cancer charities (primarily the Komen Coastal Georgia affiliate) as well as to Liberty Regional Medical Center foundation to help pay for their new digital mammography equipment,” Howell wrote in an e-mail.
The funds also will assist breast-cancer patients and survivors who need help with expenses during treatment or recovery, she said.
“I’ve been very pleased with the flow of people coming through,” Howell said of the event. “The vendors seem pretty satisfied too.”
Group members decided to schedule the expo just ahead of the holiday season so attendees could shop early for friends and family members.
“There’s such limited shopping in Liberty County,” said Howell of the reason the group chose a shopping fundraiser.
Vendors displayed jewelry, candles, Avon and Mary Kay products, home décor, purses and scrapbooking products on tables where customers spoke with representatives, paid for their finds and picked up catalogs.
Ginny Fowler, a Mary Kay representative and Susie Q’s member, chatted animatedly with customers about products and handed out sachets tied with a reminders for women to do monthly self breast exams.
“These are the type of people I want to be around,” Fowler said of the breast cancer awareness group. “The Suzie Q’s love life.”

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