Women encouraged to ‘Don’t give up. Don’t shut down’

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 104 views 

At a special after-hours event at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, 160 women gathered for a girl’s night out. Washington Regional Medical Center hosted a Spirit of Women event.

The theme of the third annual Spirit Girls’ Night Out was “Be Dazzling.”

Promoting health to women everywhere, Spirit of Women holds Girl’s Night Out events all over the country. For Washington Regional, this was the 3rd Annual Girl’s Night Out. In 2009, Washington Regional joined Spirit of Women, a national network of hospitals dedicated to improving women’s lives with innovative health programs. Through Spirit events like Girls’ Night Out in October and Day of Dance in February, the hospital is able to offer information to help women maintain good health for themselves and for their families.

Ladies were invited to tour Crystal Bridges after hours and have a buffet dinner, and like a typical girls night out, champagne and decadent chocolate cupcakes were abundant.

Guests heard speakers such as Drs. Deborah Hays and Heath Stacey, while Susan Hui, Washington Regional board chairman emceed the event.

“Crystal Bridges provided such a vibrant setting for our Girl’s Night Out,” Hui said. “A night for innovation and innovative health care.”

The keynote speaker for the evening was Judge Mary Ann Gunn. Once a judge in Washington County, Gunn now known for her TV court show, “Last Shot with Judge Gunn.”

It was a family affair for the speakers. Both Gunn and Hui brought their daughters as their dates for the evening.

Women invited were employees of Washington Regional, clinics associated with the hospital and women throughout the community. Hays gave a presentation about health challenges women face, ways to deal with aging and common problems women face.

For those who wanted to avoid aging, Stacey gave an informational presentation on all of the forms of fillers and cosmetic surgeries he provides at his clinic.

Local favorites like Riffraff, Fresh Market, Spa Botanica, and Medical Microdermabrasion donated door prizes for the event.

“I was invited by Washington Regional,” attendee Allyn Elleman said. “I’m excited to be here and learn about staying healthy.”

Keynote speaker Gunn told an empowering story about her journey from the bench to drug court.

“If you live long enough, some people get enough wisdom to pass on,” Gunn said. “I’ve never talked about this in public.”

Continuing, Gunn noted: “I pissed off so many important people.”

After detailing her decision to quit the bench and branch out to help as many families as she could through drug court and rehabilitation programs, Gunn read a letter from a girl.

“My mom got in trouble and went to jail. She’s not in jail anymore after she graduated drug court. She comes in and kisses us everyday and she brings surprises. I’m glad my mom loves us again, because I love her.”

“We should give these people a second chance. No one should lose someone to an overdose,” Gunn said.

Gunn said she has followed her advice in living a “vibrant life,” the theme for the Spirit of Women’s Girl’s Night Out.

“Don’t give up. Don’t shut down. Remember what you believe in,” she told the audience.