15th Annual Women of Worth Expo set for Nov. 2
The 15th Annual Women of Worth Expo will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It should be noted the event will be held in Pemberton Auditorium at the Blue Earth Area Middle School Building this year due to some maintenance issues at the high school building.
First held in 2005, this year’s Expo will feature over 40 home based vendors. Coffee and breakfast will be available from Cabin Coffee and lunch will be catered by The Pea Pod.
According to their mission statement, the 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.
“Most of our donations go to housing, whether it is a hotel or to help with rent,” Sonja Willmert, president of the Southern Minnesota Women of Worth, explains. “There have already been 14 homicides in Minnesota this year due to domestic abuse. We help by removing women from dangerous situations and unfortunately, we have had to provide more assistance to women this year than we did last year.”
So far in 2019, the Women of Worth have helped 30 women and three children.
The Expo is more than just an opportunity to shop and have fun while enjoying a relaxing day. Funds raised during the Expo help support the Southern Minnesota Women of Worth and enable the group to assist more women.
Another feature of every Expo has been a guest speaker. This year Kat Perkins will address those attending the event.
Perkins was a finalist on the NBC’s The Voice in season six. She will speak on following your dreams, living a fearless life and making a positive impact on the world.
Perkins grew up in Scranton, North Dakota, in a family of musicians. Her undeniable drive and passion for performing led her to move to Minneapolis. She found success as a member of the rock band Scarlet Haze, which went on to open for Bon Jovi.
Perkins had to take a break from performing due to vocal surgery. She made her musical comeback in 2014 while appearing on The Voice. She made it to the finals of the show and got to work with her coach, Adam Levine.
Her experience on The Voice opened other opportunities for her. She averages two military tours per year performing for troops stationed overseas. In addition to singing on tour, Perkins has been busy traveling to schools to share a message with young students about following their dreams.
Perkins has also begun a nonprofit foundation, the Rising Star Foundation, which provides scholarships and opportunities for aspiring musicians while also giving back to the local community.
The other constant of the Expos has been the makeover. Two women are selected for a makeover by a committee of Southern Minnesota Women of Worth board members from nominations received from community members.
This year Pam Anderson and Paula Nuessmeier were selected by the committee to receive the makeovers.
Anderson’s nomination letter describes her as a loving person who is always willing to help others in need, often putting other’s needs before her own. She has been a volunteer member of the Frost Ambulance Department for 24 years and a volunteer for the American Red Cross. She is also a member of the Faribault County Habitat for Humanity.
Anderson’s life changed on Friday, July 13, 2018, when she suffered a stroke. Tests revealed bleeding on the left side of her brain was causing right side paralysis.
Five days after suffering her severe stroke, Anderson was walking on her own. And 19 days after the stroke she was able to come home.
Nuessmeier is a life-long resident of Blue Earth. The only time she did not live in the city was during her four years of college.
She was involved in local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for 30 years, which led her to a professional job with the Boy Scouts of America, a position she held for over eight years.
Nuessmeier has been a Kiwanis member for 12 years and recently served as the president of the Blue Earth chapter.
She is known for sending out greeting cards to shut ins and people celebrating birthdays. At Christmas she bakes rye bread which she shares with about 125 friends and neighbors.
At 11 a.m. during the Expo, Anderson and Nuessmeier will have their makeover reveal.
“These women, (Anderson and Nuessmeier) have been very giving of themselves and have had to deal with their own struggles,” Willmert says. “The makeover is more than doing something with their outward appearance, it is also building them up on the inside. It is our way of pampering them and trying to make them feel better about themselves.”
The Women of Worth will continue in their fight against domestic and sexual violence in the community and invite you to join them on Nov. 2, to support their efforts to make Faribault County and all of southern Minnesota a safe place for everyone.