Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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May 2, 2014

Healthy Woman event celebrates positive attitudes

Corsicana — The power of positivity was the theme of Thursday’s Sixth Annual Healthy Woman banquet, put on by Navarro Regional Hospital. Roughly 350 women (and a handful of men) enjoyed the cuisine prepared by the Navarro Regional Hospital chef and staff, door prizes galore, a full slate of vendors for pre and post-banquet shopping, and the highlight of the evening, Dale Smith Thomas.

A motivational speaker, author and founder and president of Winners By Choice, Inc., Thomas has appeared on many television shows such as the Dr. Phil Show, The Big Idea on CNBC, The Travel Channel, and many more. A former beauty queen, Thomas admits she likes the camera and the cameras certainly love her.

Describing how she was raised in Mississippi, not just poor but “dirt poor,” Thomas said she loves appearances in Texas because we are huggers and we all speak “Southern.”

“I believe each of you is here tonight for a reason,” she said. “To fellowship with friends, and maybe I will say something tonight just for you. I ask all of you to be ‘present.’ We miss so much by not living in the present, we’re always so far ahead of ourselves. I love this Healthy Woman program, because it encourages us to take care of ourselves.”

Thomas went on to say that women are the world’s best at taking care of everyone else — husbands, kids, parents — but you can’t take care of everyone else if you’re neglecting yourself.

“My mama gets up and fries a chicken every day in case someone dies,” she deadpanned.

Thomas described how being given a name typically reserved for males was tough to live down, and that combined with the poverty in her region contributed to low self-esteem.

“It’s your decisions that determine your path, not your condition,” she said. “Smile at someone, encourage someone, pay it forward. You  never know what difference it will make.”

Thomas went on to appoint herself the life coach, and walk listeners through steps designed to make their lives better over the next 12 months. As an unapologetic optimist, she said fueling our souls with negativity from TV and other channels can not produce the fruit of positive lives.

“Positive attitude is a choice — not an emotion,” she said. “You have to act better if you want to feel better.”

To learn more about Dale Smith Thomas, visit www.winnersbychoice.com.

Also on the agenda of the banquet was a chance to meet new Navarro Regional Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Michael Stewart, who spoke a few minutes about the role of a hospital in the community. Kristy Nutt was honored as an original Healthy Woman advisory member, as she prepares to depart our community for a job in Dallas.

Anna Paul, marketing director and Healthy Woman coordinator, thanked all her advisory council for their help in organizing the banquet, including Vicki Arnett, Dawn Coley, Jan Elmore, Melissa McAdams, Connie Beal, Kay Cook, Laura Herrin, Leigh Moore, Cathy Branch, Gina Dieterichs, Susan Johnson and Heba Shafik.

Vendors for this event included Advocare (Kristi Garcia), Blessings Unlimited Jewelry, Carley’s Closet, C&J Farms, Granny B’s Jalapeno. Cutie Bug Designs, El & Em Jewelry, Feed Shack and Tack, Grace Adele, Initials Inc., Jamberry Nails, Jan’tiques, Juice Plus, Mary Kay, Nerium, Origami Owl, Paparazzi, Perfectly Posh, PHI Air Medical, Premier Jewelry, Relay for Life, Scentsy, Sweet M’s Treats, Tastefully Simple, The Glamm Box, and Twyst.

Blessings Unlimited is a handmade jewelry business owned by two sisters with a unique story. Ginger Buchanan Crutchfield and Janna Buchanan Barlow grew up in Corsicana, married, had careers, etc. but as many are, were hit by curve balls later in life. Janna suffered a brain tumor, which was removed from her frontal lobe. Making jewelry with her hands helps reestablish neural pathways.

“Our business is called Blessings Unlimited, because God has truly blessed us,” Barlow said. “After my tumor, I only had months to live. That was 26 years ago. I am proof that God works miracles. Then three years ago, seizures began from scar tissue that developed, so I had to rehab and start all over.”

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Albums of photos taken at the Healthy Woman event are available on the Daily Sun Facebook page.

    —————

Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. She may be reached via email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com

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