Country Bumpkin Trunk or Treat

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 community.
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.

Fairmont Women of Today demonstrate teamwork and creativity in a new community-building Halloween event: Fairmont Hy-Vee’s “Trunk or Treat.”

Become the Change

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.

Christine Rupp, FWT Parliamentarian

Christine Rupp, FWT Parliamentarian, radiating joy when a butterfly lands on her hand.

Eve in the Orchard

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!

Couple Evening

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.  

Denise Lewison, State Delegate

Kayaking & Boating

“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.”

Mary Meier, FWT Secretary

The Fairmont Women of Today making memories and conquering fears by kayaking.

Yoga & Wine

The Fairmont Women of Today enjoying a relaxing evening of Yoga and Wine at Fairmont CrossFit. Josie shared with the members what brings her joy. Thanks for finding joy in the journey!

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.

Josie Soderstern, FWT Member

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 life.

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!!

Kathy Simmering, FWT Membership VP

The Fairmont Women of Today and their families enjoy a beautiful day at Gomsrud Park. We find joy with our families.

Find JOY in the JOurneY!

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!

Joanna Borkenhagen, FWT President

My acreage where we kicked off the new theme! One of my many joys is enjoying the outdoors by watching a sunset and seeing the fireflies come out while listening to nature and feeling the breeze in your face. It reminds me of a simpler time. I invited members to my acreage to share in my joy with them. It was an absolutely beautiful night for a bonfire! There was food, fun and friendship! I encourage you to take a few minutes each day to do something that brings you joy.

Touch A Truck 2019

Fairmont Women of Today’s Motto is: Service, Growth and Fellowship; all three attained at this years “Touch A Truck.”

Fairmont Women of Today hosted our 2nd “Touch A Truck” on June 7th, 2019. It was a 90+ degree day on the hot pavement at Fairmont Jr/Sr High School, but area families showed up in force. We saw an increase in visitor attendance for several reasons; first year guests were great at spreading the word of last years event and sponsorship from several businesses and the collaboration with Interlaken Heritage Days also prompted the larger crowd.

Thank you to all our Sponsors for Touch A Truck 2019!

Sponsors this year included: Barrts Trucking, Profinium of Fairmont, State Bank of Fairmont, NuWay Cooperative, Martin County Star Newspaper, Hy-Vee and Fareway of Fairmont, Minuteman Press and the Interlaken Heritage Days Committee.

A highlight this year was Fairmont Police Department’s Officer Tietji and his new K-9 Partner Titus. Titus was great with the kids and he enjoyed chewing some ice cubes on the extra hot day. Ten Fairmont Women of Today members and four FWT family members were instrumental in getting “Touch A Truck” off the ground and many worked during the event. FWT is grateful for all the business owners and community service members that generously gave. Twenty plus vehicles were displayed and those who brought vehicles were enthusiastic and engaging. FWT members and collaborators came together with a shared vision, giving up part of their summer weekend to bring enjoyment to our area families.  

Truck Yeah! Amber DeClercq posing with one of the vehicles at Touch A Truck.

Sharing SMILES


Earlier this year, I wanted to find a way to express my gratitude to a woman at a local business that had the warmest greetings when I would stop in. I don’t know anything about her except her name and where she works. I had an idea to send her a hand stamped card telling her how much I enjoyed coming into that business because she went out of her way to make me feel like an appreciated customer.
I shared this story with my chapter and told them I would like to start a campaign to acknowledge outstanding women in our community that make this a great place to live and work. After some brain storming, an acronym was developed and the S.M.I.L.E. campaign began. Simple Moments Influence Lives Everywhere.
I look for excuses to spend time making cards and this was just the ticket I needed. After a quick personal message was written inside the card, an insert was put in each card explaining our campaign and the back talked about the Women of Today organization.
To date, our chapter has mailed over 50 cards out sharing smiles with deserving woman. There was a quote that we shared on our Facebook page that sums up why I enjoyed this project. “When you see something beautiful in someone, tell them. It may take a second to say, but for them it could last a lifetime.”

If you would like to nominate a deserving woman for this card, send our group an email at: fairmontwt@mnwt.org

Sue Bay