Expo offers chance to experience what Orange has to offer

YING Shi Chang has lived in Orange for four-and a-half years, but it wasn’t until she went to Sunday's Experience Orange Expo that she realised how many activities the city has to offer.

She was exactly the kind of person expo organisers were trying to target with the showcase of more than 70 exhibitors each trying to spruik their group and drum up new members.

In its first year, the expo focused on showing newcomers what the city had to offer, but Sunday's event at the PCYC also targeted longer-term residents who may not be aware of what is out there.

The expo’s committee chairman Ray Fleming said the event brought together the city’s four Rotary clubs and exposed people to lesser-known community groups.

“When it was first run we found there were people in the community who were overwhelmed by the number of groups,” he said.

“I hope people get a bit out of it.

“We’re trying to get people interested in volunteering and becoming members of clubs.”

Although the wet weather meant some of the outside exhibitors were unable to attend, it did little to dampen the spirits of the inside exhibitors or the crowd with all proceeds going to the PCYC.

Mr Fleming said organisers were pleased with the numbers of visitors and expected to have at least 2000 people through the doors to rival the last expo in 2011.

The Rotary clubs will judge the success of Sunday's event before deciding if it should become biannual.

The Friends of the Regional Gallery (FORG) and Orange Camera Club were two groups to spark Dr Chang’s interest, but she was yet to sign up to any groups when the Central Western Daily caught up with her at the expo.

She said it was fantastic seeing all the groups together under one roof.

“I would have never realised it was all here,” she said.

Pam Davis manned a stand for Assistance Dogs Australia with Bono the golden retriever who was drawing in the crowds.

She said the expo helped the group gain sponsorship, build its profile outside of the capital cities, and encourage people to sign up as puppy raisers when the scheme starts in Orange later this year.

clare.colley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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