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OP/ED: Ignite Kootenay Women's Conference a resounding success

The first annual Ignite Kootenay Women’s Conference was a resounding success.  Over 160 women from across the Kootenays attended the two-day event. Among other things, we learned about money personalities, the Grief Ring Theory, how to better deal with anxiety and guilt, the importance of mindset, and how gratitude can literally change your life.  Not only did we receive nourishment for our souls, but Trackside Bistro and Kootenay Catering provided us with delicious food, while The Old Theatre kept the coffee and lattes flowing.


Over 50 donated prizes were given away throughout the weekend. Seeing the prize table overflowing with such generosity created quite a buzz among the attendees. Individuals and community organizations also donated funds that subsidized 13 tickets. Thank you to Columbia Basin Trust, The Castlegar News, and Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club for their generous cash donations. One woman who received a subsidy expressed her appreciation for being able to attend the conference:

 

I learned many things about challenges and solutions to situations that have been a part of women’s lives no matter our background.   It was interesting to hear others speak of problems that I have dealt with and to learn new solutions to help overcome issues many of us deal with.  I am a pensioner and extras are not always doable for me ... so your help toward my ticket to attend the conference was very much appreciated.”


A big Thank You needs to be extended to Silly Monkeys Childcare, who provided care for nine children over the course of the two days. One appreciative mom left this feedback on Facebook, “Having childcare and food included was amazing!”


So much other positive feedback for the event has been received, “What a fabulous day and a half....LOVED EVERY MINUTE!! Thank you all!”  “Just want to say a Big Thank you for the amazing experience.”  “I got so much out of it. Virtually every speaker resonated with me.”  “Absolutely loved the opening blessing.”

 

Two major goals from the conference were to give a donation to Chrissy’s Place Women’s Centre, and set up an Ignite Kootenay Women Scholarship with Stanley Humphries Secondary School. This past Friday, a $500 cheque was given to Kristen Johnson, Director of Castlegar and District Community Services Society. This money will go toward funding programs and initiatives at Chrissy’s Place.  In addition, next month a $500 scholarship will be set up with the high school.


As the organizer of this conference, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the speakers, volunteers and other “crew” members who made this event possible. Each of you helped make my dream a reality. And to the dozens of businesses, organizations and individuals who donated money, products, or services - your generosity is a beautiful thing.  Thank you all!


Planning is already underway for next year’s event, so if you loved what you experienced last weekend, or if you weren’t able to attend, mark your calendars for March 2020.