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Erin Brockovich to highlight 2012 Women's Lifestyle Show

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Erin Brockovich, who became famous by linking cancer cases to contaminated ground water in California nearly 20 years ago, will be the featured speaker at the 2012 Women's Lifestyle Show on Oct. 27 at the Peoria Civic Center.

Brockovich, now the president of her own consulting and research firm, will speak and do a question-and-answer session during the show, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., announced Dr. Joy Miller, owner of the Women's Lifestyle Show.

Erin Brockovich"We've been working on finding a celebrity for the show since about last December. We wanted a strong, empowering woman," Miller said during a news conference Wednesday, during which she also announced changes to the show for 2012.

"We are very excited to get Erin Brockovich, a strong woman who truly has changed the world," said Miller. Brockovich, 52, was described as "a modern-day David who loves a good brawl with today's Goliaths."

Brockovich's story became well-known because of a movie bearing her name as its title. Julia Roberts won the Academy Award for her performance in portraying Brockovich. The movie centers on her work in building a case against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. of California after discovering it allowed contaminated wastewater to be discharged into ponds near Hinkley, Calif.

Brockovich continues researching and consulting on cases throughout the country, most recently trying to discover the cause of a high incidence of illness in New York state that causes facial tics and verbal outbursts.

The time of her stage presentation will be announced later.

Miller and Stephanie Donahue, the new director of the Women's Lifestyle Show, said the show itself is being given a makeover for 2012, its 21st year of celebrating women throughout central Illinois. This show, they said, is the largest women's show in Illinois, if not the Midwest.

Among the changes, said Donahue, is a new logo and website. But more important, the layout of the show has changed from a tradeshow format to a pavilion format, making it more like six shows in one, she said.

There will six pavilion stages in the exhibit hall, each with a different focus that will draw participants as they will have continuous presentations throughout the day. The pavilions will focus on culinary, shopping, health and wellness, fashion and beauty, home and living, and bridal and events. When possible, vendors for those focuses will be placed in the pavilions, Donahue said.

There also will be a main stage, where celebrities such as Brockovich will speak. Another speaker will be psychic and author Maureen Hancock, who Miller said was a huge hit at last year's Lifestyle Show. Hancock will do two seminars, as well.

Another special guest will be Miss Illinois Megan Ervin, sponsored by Soderstrom/
Skin Dimensions.

"We want our vendors to be noticed and our participants to feel pampered. Participants will notice the changes immediately when they walk in the doors," she said, adding the show will be upscale and trendy with more sophistication than it has ever had.

"The show will have a whole, new feel. We're very excited," Miller said.

Among its many sponsors will be a couple new ones, including Lexus of Peoria, which will raffle a new Lexus ES. Bremer Jewelry will raffle six jewelry items, the Fresh Market will offer wine tastings and there will be makeovers and massages available. There also will be a raffle for the Women's Lifestyle Scholarship Fund, which will include two tickets to the Ellen Show and transportation to Los Angeles and a spa package.

Also planned is a fashion show, a bridal fashion show and a doggie fashion show.

The show takes more than 100,000 square feet of space with vendors matched to the unique needs of women.

Tickets for the show are $8 in advance at or $10 at the door.

Vendors can register at that website, as well. Donahue said vendors can that way choose where they want to be located during the show.

Paul Gordon is editor of The Peorian. He can be reached at 692-7880 or


About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).