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The 12th Annual Women of Worth Expo

By Staff | Oct 30, 2016

Miranda Larsen, left, and Betty Goraczkowski, right, are the first-ever mother-daughter team to receive the coveted makeover the Women of Worth Expo presents every year. Not only is it the Expo’s first ever mother-daughter makeover team, they are also featuring their first-ever male speaker, Jerrid Sebesta, known for his television career at KARE?11, who left the limelight of television to focus on his family and their dreams.

A hilarious speaker, a couple of makeovers, some tasty treats, and shopping galore is a recipe for a great time. And that is exactly what the Women of Worth Expo is all about.

On Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Blue Earth Area High School gymnasium will be transformed into the venue for the 12th Annual Women’s Expo.

The day will feature a number of profound firsts for the Women of Worth team.

For the past eight years, two Faribault County women have been nominated and selected by the Women of Worth committee to be the recipients of a glamorous makeover. And for the past eight years, those two women have not been related, until now.

This year, the two nominees for the priceless and well-deserved pampering will go to a mother-daughter duo.

Betty Goraczkowski, who has worked at Blue Earth Area Schools since 1997, and her daughter Miranda Larsen, who works in Blue Earth and lives in Delavan, have been chosen as this year’s makeover recipients.

Their new stylish looks will be revealed and modeled at 11:30 a.m. during the Expo after coffee and treats and a bit of shopping.

Then, at 1 p.m. the stage is set for another “first” for the Women of Worth Expo. Speaker Jerrid Sebesta, known for his meteorology on KARE?11 news, will be taking the stage. Sebesta walked away from a vibrant TV career to start ‘Living the Dream’ with his wife Emily, formerly a Krause of Winnebago, and their three children. He now spends much of his time traveling the region and challenging audiences to look at their own personal dreams and pursue them with passion.

“You have to figure out the why and the how of your personal goals,” says Sebesta. He shares he and his wife needed to change the perspective of their family’s goals.

“Don’t live as a result of your career,” says Sebesta. “My goal is to change the perspective of our regions; to look at life in a totally different way. I want people to look deep inside themselves and figure out their ‘why’ and their ‘how.'”

Following Sebesta’s passionate presentation will be the Grand Prize Giveaway, a three night, two bedroom stay at Wyndham Branson at the Meadows. Those participating in the giveaway must be 21 or older and must be present to win.

But there is a bigger message and a larger calling to those who participate in and are engaged in the Women of Worth Expo.

On the Women of Worth website, the mission statement is clear for those who follow its motto.

“Southern Minnesota Women of Worth shall be for the good and betterment of families of rural southern Minnesota through continuing education about abuse, neglect, and violence that takes place in rural areas, along with financial support of programs designed to help all victims of abuse.”

“Whatever it takes,” says Sonja Willmert, the Women of Worth committee president. “We are going to be there for victims of domestic violence, neglect, and abuse. We are here for them and this is our huge fundraiser to make sure the women and families in our area have the services they need to not only survive, but to strive throughout their lives.”

Willmert mentions that the Women of Worth committee regularly helps victims of domestic violence with seeking shelter, making phone calls, having food in the home, fuel in their cars, and safety plans to ensure they are able to leave their homes safely if need be.

Most importantly, all the work the group does is all anonymous care.

“There aren’t any catches or loopholes or exceptions. If there is a woman in need, a family in need, this is what we are here for,” says Willmert.

And though the Women of Worth Expo is a gigantic source of fundraising for this group, it is also a gigantic source of fun for the friends, families, and victims who have been impacted by domestic violence.

“The Expo is our icing on our cake. We bring awareness to our community, we bring education to our friends, families, and neighbors, and we are able to entertain. We want this to be an uplifting experience for those who come to enjoy all the Expo has to offer,” says Willmert.

Though it may seem like a hilarious speaker, a couple of makeovers, some tasty treats, and shopping might be enough, it is more than a speaker. It is more than a makeover. It is more than a fundraiser.

The Women of Worth Expo is an opportunity for those affected by domestic violence, neglect, and abuse to breathe a little easier; to smile a little more; to laugh with friends; to share their experiences, and most importantly, to come and stand together.