SIKESTON -- Area women searching for a little power from within may find it at a conference scheduled this fall in Sikeston.
"It's always good for women to stay on their toes about things that are changing," said Helen Sander, conference committee member. "It's good for her personally, and it's good for her family."
For the second year, the University of Missouri Extension is sponsoring a free multi-county women's conference from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 7 at the First Christian Church in Sikeston. This year's theme is "Discovering the Power of Me."
"The purpose of the conference is to assist women by promoting a more positive environment in which to excel by providing health information and educational opportunities for personal and professional growth," said Maude Harris, nutrition/health specialist for the University of Missouri Extension's Southeast Region.
Similar events have been held in Poplar Bluff and Caruthersville for years, Harris said.
Until last years there was never really one in this section of the region. "We thought it would be a good idea for here and make it a multi-county event," Harris said.
Following a registration check-in from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., keynote speaker Sherry Ewart-Park will present "You Can't Have My Marble."
"It's a self-esteem and diversity workshop," Harris explained.
"You Can't Have My Marble" incorporates character education concerning self-image, respect and tolerance while discussing social and cultural diversities encountered in society.
Break-out sessions will be conducted after the keynote address, Harris noted. Morning speaker topics include breast cancer awareness, Medicare changes, fitness and exercise, relaxation and stress management.
Then in the afternoon participants will have the chance to attend sessions on scrapbooking, estate planning, food guide pyramid update and new bankruptcy laws. Informational booths will also be set up by local businesses for participants to explore.
"The programs we've selected are geared to interest most women," Sander said.
There will be a total of 10 sessions and participants can attend only four of them, Sander pointed out, adding each session is limited to 20 to 25 people. This year's topics and keynote speaker are completely different than last year, Harris noted. Last year's conference was successful with attendance at about 125, she said. Harris said committee members would like to see attendance top at least 150 this year.
Last year was fantastic, Sander recalled. And this year's attendees won't be disappointed, she said.
"I think it is well worth your time and effort to come to something like this," Sander said.
In addition to the University of Missouri Extension, co-sponsors of the event include American Cancer Society, Bootheel Counseling Center, Bootheel Healthy Start, Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation, Scott County Health Department, Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, Visiting Nurses Association of Southeast Missouri and other local businesses.
Although the conference is aimed at women in Scott, Stoddard, Mississippi and New Madrid counties, anyone can attend, Harris noted, adding men are welcome, too.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Harris said. "It's really a way to give people an awareness of what their community has and be educated about the resources they have."
Lunch will be provided and pre-registration is encouraged. Call (573) 545
-3516 for more information.