I am a lifelong learner and one of my joys is reading books. I enjoy gaining further insight on a variety of topics or just sitting back and relaxing over a good book. I also enjoy being able to engage with others and have discussions on common interests. I invited our organization to read The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell for a book club evening. The theme of the book is also one of Women of Today’s founding principles, building friendships. We had a wonderful evening of discussion and fellowship and may even have a few community service projects that come from it!
One of our newest members Sara Hugoson had a vision of
service and fun for the latest FWT project. Once again, the collaboration was
rewarding and successful as several members came together for plan and
execution. Crafty ideas and many helping hands made a “farm-themed” favorite
stop for about 500 or so Trick or Treaters and their families. The very windy
day made setting up the cardboard barn challenging, but the FWT problem solvers
made it happen! Within the first hour, 300+ treats had run out, but FWT
President Joanna was quick on the task to replace so no child was turned away.
Hy-Vee has donated to FWT past projects and the FWT group wanted to
give-back support for their “Trunk or Treat” project. Fairmont is
fortunate to have a Hy-Vee; and FWT applauds their success and service to our
The interaction with families during the event proved to be delightful and
rewarding too. Families of diverse backgrounds were greeted with smiles,
welcoming conversation and an Interactive Farm Display. The “Trunk or Treat”
project was a great way to serve local kids, demonstrate gratitude, build trust
and “cultivate” friendships within the Fairmont Women of Today circle of
members and beyond.
I’ve been asked before: Why do you like butterflies so much?
Looking at a butterfly we can see that it’s beautiful and delicate. What’s not
to like, right? But if we look more closely we can see a symbol of strength and
endurance. A butterfly doesn’t start out beautiful. It isn’t born with wings.
Instead, a butterfly starts out as an unassuming larva, a deceptively
unassuming caterpillar crawling along the ground. It eventually enters a
chrysalis, commonly called a cocoon. Inside that chrysalis the butterfly
undergoes an immense amount of change. If you compare a caterpillar and a
butterfly side-by-side it becomes apparent just how much change had to occur
for the final result to emerge. As humans we tend to fight change. We find it
frightening and, quite honestly, it’s often painful. And yet, even in the midst
of the hardest, most devastating changes in our lives, we can emerge stronger
and more beautiful on the other side. A butterfly to me is a reminder that not
all change is bad. Sometimes change transforms us in ways we couldn’t have
imagined. And sometimes we can even emerge buoyant and ready to take flight.
This year, the Fairmont Women of Today hosted a
new event. “Eve in the Orchard” was a night for women to leave all their cares
behind, laugh and have fun, make new friends, and leave newly inspired.
Our generous hosts for the evening were Gordy and Karen Toupal of Center Creek
Orchard. If you have not yet visited Center Creek Orchard, it’s an absolute
must! The picturesque apple orchard is just eight miles southeast of Fairmont,
off County Road 18. While you could spend all day picking the most perfectly crisp
apples off the over 500 apple trees, you may miss a few other fun things.
The women who attended “Eve in the Orchard” were able to participate in all of these activities, along with a few special event additions. Guests also enjoyed wine tasting, a photo scavenger hunt (with prizes), a meal, chair massages by Jessica Larson, horseback riding, and delicious fudge samples. If that wasn’t enough, attendees also learned a few Instant Pot skills as Sue Bay and Denise Lewison showed us how to whip up a mean pot of homemade applesauce. Furthermore, Dee’s Floral demonstrated how to craft a fall floral arrangement to add that perfect pop of color to any fall event.
The evening concluded with a special presentation from our guest speaker, Mandi Kosbab. Mandi shared some humorous and inspiring words of motivation and support. Her words left us feeling enlightened and encouraged to build ourselves and each other up.
Overall the event was deemed a success, and The Fairmont Women of Today continue to receive positive feedback from the attendees. We thank everyone who helped make the evening special and look forward to repeating this event next year. We can’t wait to see you…and a friend or two!
There are many things that bring me joy in my life so I had a hard time picking the event that I would like to do. Spending time with my husband is one of the things that brings me the most joy. He is my rock, my biggest supporter and my best friend. In honor of our anniversary in September, I decided to combine a few of my joys together and create a fun couples evening. We even invited our good friends as spending time with friends brings me joy. It was very enjoyable spending time with our spouses, good friends and getting to know one another. We had supper, a bonfire and a few drinks. I picked a fall evening as my favorite season is fall. It brings me joy to sit outside and enjoy the nice fall evenings sitting around a bonfire with the ones I love. Cooking also brings me joy so I made supper and snacks for everyone.
“When asked what brings me joy….
it’s nature! There is nothing more relaxing than being by water. We
are fortunate to live in a county that has so many lakes. I kayak
every Tuesday night with a group, and we go to a different lake each
week. It’s amazing to experience the peace that is found on the
water. I wanted to share my joy of kayaking with the wonderful Fairmont
Women of Today. For many of them, it was the first time they have
kayaked. Fears were conquered and with the help of each other, everyone
was able to get in and out of the kayaks and nobody capsized! It was a
team event with many laughs and memories made.”
For my women’s group, we were asked to share something with the group that brings us joy. It was fun to share my yoga practice by holding a yoga & wine night at FCF. Throughout the years, yoga has given me stress relief and a great balance to another joy of mine: CrossFit. I am also grateful for the ability to teach yoga and watch people grow in their physical journeys.
President Joanna’s challenge to Women of Today members for
this year was to think of something that brings us joy and for each of us to
either plan an event or service which represents that joy. I chose to show my
joy for families. I grew up as an only child because my sister was twenty years
older than me and married with children of her own. Our family still spent
quality time together, and I had many great memories of picnics and holiday
celebrations with my sister and nieces and also with my grandmother. However,
it wasn’t until I met my then to be husband Ken, that I really got to know what
it was like to come from a “big” family. He was the only boy with
five sisters. I was welcomed into the family with open arms. His parents
treated me like one of their own. His sisters always made me feel like I was
just another “sister” in the family. Even the extended family of
aunts, uncles, grandmothers, and cousins accepted me. This is how it has
remained even today. I feel blessed to have had these family members in my
As the years passed, many fond memories were centered around picnics, potlucks,
reunions, and holiday gatherings. This is why I chose families as my Joy in the
Journey, as today more than ever, we need to strengthen our family ties in this
ever-changing world where some families seem to fall apart. And of course, I
love potlucks too!!
It is a start of a new year for Fairmont Women of Today
(FWT). That means changes, including new board members and a new theme. The
theme for this year is “Find Joy in the Journey.” When life is butterflies and
roses it can be easy to find joy, even radiate with it. When it’s a season of
struggle it is more difficult to find joy, even impossible. No matter what
season you’re in, I encourage you to take a few minutes each day to do
something that brings you joy. It can be something
as simple as making a list of things you’re thankful for, walking outside,
dancing, laughing, watching a sunrise or sunset, volunteering, giving someone a
hug or compliment or snuggling. Over the next year, the FWT members will be
sharing with each other and you what brings them joy. Follow our Facebook page
to find out what exciting things we have planned! Hope you Shimmer, Sparkle and
Shine with JOY!