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Makeovers, motivation and shopping. Oh my!

By Staff | Oct 25, 2015

Two Faribault County women have received a day of pampering and will reveal a whole new look at the 11th Annual Women’s Expo in Blue Earth on Saturday, Nov. 7. The two women include Joy Swanson...

Girls just wanna have fun. And, that’s what the Faribault County Women of Worth want too a weekend where the girls can have some fun.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Blue Earth Area High School gymnasium will be transformed into a platform for the 11th Annual Women’s Expo.

The day will feature makeover reveals, a speaker and lots of vendors, but is ultimately centered around raising awareness and educating the community about abuse, neglect and violence in the Faribault County area.

“We want it to be entertaining as well as educating,”?says Sonja Willmert, Women of Worth committee president. “We want to provide information for anyone who wishes to learn more but we like for the day to be uplifting and entertaining for the community, as well.”

The event will kick off at 9 a.m. and from 9-11 a.m., Expo goers can enjoy free coffee and treats as they browse through nearly 48 vendors.

and Jean Besendorf.

“We have worked hard to bring in new vendors this year,”?Willmert says. “Shopping will be fun and those attending will be very pleased with the variety.”

She adds that the vendors come from all around Minnesota and Iowa not just locally.

Then, at 11:30 a.m., the Expo will turn its attention toward the speaker for the day, Pat McGill.

McGill is a motivational speaker who formats each of her speaking engagements to fit the audience she is with.

“Not a lot of people have heard of her, but I have,”?Willmert says. “I’m really excited about having her.”

Prior to the makeover reveals, the Expo will feature a special guest speaker Pat McGill who is said to be a very motivational speaker.

Willmert describes McGill as being a motivational and inspirational speaker, which will fit in perfectly with the Women of Worth goal to uplift their audience.

“She is the type of speaker who gets down into the audience and interacts,”?she adds.

McGill’s website describes her, “Pat holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She is also a former middle school teacher and adjunct professor of human relations…Pat has taught for four colleges as an adjunct professor and led numerous church and community initiatives. She’s convinced, however, that her talents are rooted in her Midwestern upbringing, Irish heritage and an early adventure in pageantry.”

However, it’s not all about shopping and speakers. The Expo’s next event for the day will be the Extreme Makeover reveals.

“We have two makeovers this year,”?Willmert says. “And they are both a delight and much deserving of some pampering.”

And, she says pampering describes what the women participate in better than calling it a makeover especially for the two nominees this year.

“Both have had health issues and really deserve this,” she says.

Joy Swanson has had a heart transplant, but prior to that, much of her life was spent helping others.

Swanson is a mother of three, and was a registered nurse and an EMT member.

She spent time working at the Lakeview Home in Fairmont, St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center in Blue Earth, and was on the ambulance crew in Blue Earth.

“She has been very positive and it was quite an experience for her to go through this,”?Willmert says.

Jean Besendorf was also nominated for the 2015 Expo makeovers.

Besendorf has had two massive heart attacks, a quadruple bypass surgery, kidney failure and has had a kidney transplant.

“She is also normally in a wheelchair, but that doesn’t keep her down,”?Willmert adds.

Besendorf worked with Interfaith Caregivers and still spends time volunteering with the group.

She also spent 18 years as a cook at Country Kitchen.

“Both of these women have put their life into the community, trying to make things better,”?Willmert says.

The women spend a lot of time together and do things such as take a day for hair and makeup, go shopping, take before pictures and much more. But, it’s not just about the outward appearance for the day of the Expo.

“It’s not just for a day it’s for a lifetime,”?Willmert says. “And it’s not just about looks, we work with their self esteem and lift them up any way we can.”

The women enjoy a little much deserved pampering and will be the stars at the Expo when their new makeovers are revealed at 1:30 p.m. that day.

But most importantly this event is for the community.

“We look for support from the community,”?Willmert says. “Because we couldn’t continue without all of the support.”