Gluten-Free Vendor Fair
The Northeast Ohio Celiac Network is sponsoring a Gluten-Free Vendor Fair on Sunday, April 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held at Rocky River's Memorial Hall in the recreation complex at 21012 Hilliard Blvd. The event is free to the general public. Vendors will be giving samples and selling their gluten-free products. Most of the vendors are local to the greater Cleveland area.
The fair is sponsored by The Northeast Ohio Celiac Network, a group dedicated to people with celiac disease (CD), gluten sensitivity, their families, and the gluten-free diet. This greater Cleveland group has been active for over 20 years, formerly a chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation and previously known as Northeast Ohio Celiac Support Group. As the group grew, the meetings moved from members’ homes to library meeting rooms.
CD is an inherited, autoimmune disorder in which proteins from the grains of wheat, rye and barley (collectively called gluten) damage the small intestine. The only treatment for CD is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet. With a prevalence rate of about one in 133 people worldwide, between three and four million North Americans have the disease. However, it is estimated that only 5% to 10% are currently diagnosed.
In addition to those with CD, gluten-free products are purchased by those with a wide variety of other conditions, including non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, autism, ADHD, multiple sclerosis and irritable bowel syndrome. The gluten-free diet, once thought a fad, is now a trend with more than 15% of North American households using gluten-free products.
For the fair, those who register in advance and bring a printout of their ticket will be entered in a gift card drawing. Additional information and registration can be found at http://www.neohioceliac.com.
Judith Mazur is an independent, self-employed youth theater instructor and director. She is also a member of the Northeast Ohio Celiac Network.