The panel participants encouraged the audience to embrace the concept of “self-care” as a key in successfully caring for others and otherwise carrying out the duties of their lives.  A fashion presentation “with a twist” followed and was moderated by Mattie Woods, executive director of the Center for Healthy Hearts and Souls. She was also part of the local planning committee. “This year, Fun, Fit & Fabulous has partnered with our community partner,” Woods said. “Dress for Success; in Pittsburgh this organization works with more than 150 referral agencies in the region that helps women, once they are employed, find proper business attire for the workplace.”

The fashion show was a result of this partnership.   Each model has been through extreme challenges from which they had to evolve; weight loss, a severe health issue, breast cancer and more.  They were members of Dress for Success professional women’s group, and were featured in the show to highlight the success they’ve had in overcoming their obstacles, their “look” represented the new better, healthier place they are in life.  

“This segment was very significant because our stories of overcoming challenges, will ignite a flame of faith, hope and thanksgiving for one’s self and others,” Wood said.

Jeanette Jenkins, author of “The Hollywood Trainer Weight Loss Plan 21 Days to Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit” and a nine year Nike Training Club Ambassador, was the keynote speaker. Her highly charged, powerful presentation belied her small frame and keen features.  Opening her talk with prayer in which she engaged the entire ballroom, she was momentarily overcome, sharing that her own mother was currently battling cancer.  But at no point did her positive spirit diminish as she walked the audience through tools to create a healthier lifestyle. She stressed that it was no mystery, eating right, engaging some exercise every day, no smoking and drinking plenty of water. 


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