‘You’re valuable just because you’re you’ — Kim Bérube´

Donna Orr performs her invisible chalk art for all to see at the 24th annual Women’s Conference “Live in the Glow” held Feb. 11 in Rimbey.

Donna Orr performs her invisible chalk art for all to see at the 24th annual Women’s Conference “Live in the Glow” held Feb. 11 in Rimbey.

By Jasmine Franklin

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Live in the glow.”

The 24th annual “Live in the Glow” women’s conference in Rimbey Feb. 11 was filled with much more than products, speakers and nearly 200 women. Throughout the day the bond of female companionship strengthened.

“It’s been fantastic. It’s really about enjoying each other and getting out for the day,” said organizer Peggy Makofka. “Today is really focusing on the fact that we all have trials and tribulations. But by learning to get that glow and pass it on to others can make a big difference.”

“This conference really reinforces our values of our relationship with the other women in our lives,” said participant Connie Kenney.

“It reminds us to smarten up and stop wasting time,” said Veronica Lennerr.

As touchy subjects such as body image, sex appeal and inner demons were discussed, a powerful speech by guest speaker Kim Bérube´, owner and publisher of Real Woman On The Run magazine, helped to give women a realistic spin on pop culture and its take on body image.

“As if at the end of my life someone is going to say, ‘Gee, you know that Kim had great (breasts)’. What does real success look like? I can tell you it’s not physical,” Bérube´ told the audience. “Woman are more than the sum of their pounds, the lines in their skin and the mistakes they have made.”

Bérube´ gave the women an exercise of writing down 10 things that make them successful and happy as tools to remind them of why they are valuable.

“Remember to always glow,” she said.

Let’s talk about gardening

Also at the conference was gardener Gayle Rondeel who spoke about the importance of growing and shopping locally when it comes to produce.

“With all the great soil, sunshine and rain around here why can’t we grow our own food?” she asked. “As consumer, you vote three times per day whether to shop local or not every time a meal is put on that table. Gardening, health and buying local are all intertwined.

Rondeel spends about 12 hours per day in her garden to ensure she knows where her food is coming from and that it is safe.

“I’d rather eat healthy than be sick,” Rondeel told the women.

Offering tips such as planning a location for a garden and choosing different varieties of produce she made it loud and clear that gardening should be fun.

“It can be a family affair and be profitable,” she said. “We have got to start taking care of ourselves and our environment.”

Magic with chalk

After meals, speakers and door prizes, the day ended with a sight too see. Donna Orr, painter and art teacher from Lacombe, dazzled the crowd with her invisible chalk art. Painted with chalk composed of crushed dust and no oils, women watched in awe as this artist went to work.

With the lights off and glow-in-the-dark chalk shining under black light, it wasn’t long before a beautiful scene of hills, streams and trees was created.

All in all, the day was considered a success providing women with useful, inspirational and motivational advice.

“We feel it is our duty to provide these women with the knowledge and services provided here today,” Makofka said. “Some of these women don’t have the opportunity to do these things very often so we like to bring in thought provoking ideas.”