The older I get, the more I treasure my women friends.
This is not to say I like men any less. I have several valued men friends, some of whom I have known since I was eight years old. Some share memories of an earlier time, others are simply good email buddies.
There is, however, an intrinsic bond that can flourish among women as we share our experiences, wisdom and insights.
I have been blessed with women friends who have literally held my hand as a loved one has died, allowed me to grieve and encouraged me to cry in the process, applied a verbal kick in the butt when needed, shared secrets (for more than 50 years), aspirations and reassurances, and generally traded “war stories.”
Who but another woman can truly understand the undignified and wild but wondrous ride that produces a child, or the fiery flashovers of menopause.
And what I particularly love is that, for the most part, the sharing is accompanied by a large measure of laughter.
What could be healthier than adding the healing touch of giggles and guffaws to our life stories?
Unfortunately, some women’s lives provide little to laugh about.
That’s when it is critical to step up to offer support, care and in some cases alternatives, in whatever way we can.
Financial planner Coralie Tolley did that in a big way seven years ago when she initiated the It’s All About Women Conference.
During her seminars, Coralie had heard many comments from women about how their husbands handled the finances, how they were too stupid to do it themselves and a mixed bag of other demeaning self-talk.
On the other hand, she met some pretty amazing and very successful women who believed they could do anything – and did.
“What if I could put these women together?” she mused.
Eh voila! The seventh annual conference takes place at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort Saturday, Jan. 28.
Once again, participants will have the opportunity to browse (and buy from) various exhibitors and listen to speakers whose words are directed at women’s well-being.
Coralie has seen businesses get off the ground at former events and strong, enduring friendships forged.
She puts an amazing amount of care and energy into the annual event whose proceeds for the past several years have benefitted the local S.A.F.E. Society – last year to the tune of $8,800.
The evening Take Back The Night gala is a symbolic call to the end of violence against women, and an opportunity to honour women of distinction in three categories.
Men are very welcome to attend the evening event, which features fine dining and dancing following the awards.
This year’s gala is in memory of the Observer’s own office manager Louise Phillips who died almost a year ago, leaving a hole in the hearts of many.