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Voice from ‘90s cries out at Women’s Expo - Asbury Park (NJ) Press
Feb 17, 2008
Susan Powter, a featured speaker at the seventh annual Women's Expo in the Ritacco Center Saturday, was the reason many of the women attended the event


By Matthew McGrath

Remember Susan Powter? Maybe during some sleepless night 10 years ago, her crew-cut, platinum-blond head jolted you out of an insomniac, television-induced daze as she screamed "Stop the insanity!"

Her infomercials featured her railing against the diet industry and encouraging women to take over the world. It worked; three of her books were New York Times bestsellers.

Well, it's now a decade later, and thanks to the self-publishing power of the Internet, she's back, complete with a new mantra: "Eat, Breathe, Think, Move."

And, she's still screaming.

"You don't have to like me," Powter said. "You have to listen to me."

Powter, a featured speaker at the seventh annual Women's Expo in the Ritacco Center Saturday, was the reason many of the women attended the event.

"I saw her about 10 years ago," said Helen Donovan, a resident of Holiday City in Berkeley, who said she videotaped Powter's infomercials. "A lot of what she says makes sense, like changing your lifestyle a little bit each day."

"I think she's awesome," Jackson resident Sonya Walker said.

Elsewhere at the expo, 40 women were competing in the Women's Only Texas Hold'Em Poker Tournament, which brought a top prize of a golden bracelet engraved to mark the event.

"It's just the thrill of playing," Beachwood resident Suzanne Marshock said. "It's about bragging rights."

Marshock placed third in the tournament, losing to Jennie Echo and Ronnie Butow, both from Toms River, who placed first and second, respectively.

The tournament is what drew Marshock last year, but she also was able to find help for both of her children last year. Her 11-year-old son, Nicholas, won a raffle for a free membership at an area karate dojo.

"My son really needed help building his self-confidence," Marshock said. "So, why not?"

The karate membership was one of the most important things she found through the expo. Marshock's 8-year-old daughter, Sawyer, also is taking lessons.

"They love it," she added.

Catherine Hickland of "One Life to Live" and "Knight Rider" fame was giving three-minute makeovers with her own line of cosmetics, specifically designed for a woman on the go.

"I needed an updated look and something that was fast," said Rosalee DiPietro, of Bayville. "I guess I have to buy it now."

She said the makeover made her look like she was "kissed by the sun" and was much better than the 45-minute makeovers at department stores.

The expo was sponsored by 100.1 WJRZ and Deborah Heart and Lung Center. Free health screenings were being offered to all the women who attended. According to literature distributed by the center during the expo, women experience heart disease symptoms differently than men and report different symptoms.

"This is our way of giving back to our loyal listeners," said Tony Odachowski, executive director of marketing for Greater Media New Jersey. "This time of year, people need a way to beat some cabin fever."