Up & Coming Weekly

October 31, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 48

NOVEMBER 1 - 7, 2017 UCW 13 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM The quarterly Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch creates a space where women in Fayetteville network with, learn from, empower and celebrate each other. The final lunch of 2017 takes place Nov. 9 at the Ramada Plaza. Retired Col. Marsha Lunt, a veteran who accomplished many firsts during her time in the Army, is November's keynote speaker. Lunt served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for 30 years. After being commis- sioned as a U.S. Army officer in 1978, she was among the first women to be integrated into the Army when the Women's Army Corps was disestablished in 1978. She was also among the first women to graduate the Army's Airborne School and later was one of the first female commanders of a medical clearing company supporting an Army Infantry Division. After retiring from the Army, Lunt served and succeeded in another male-dominated profession as the emergency manager for Womack Army Medi- cal Center for 15 years. She retired from her position at Womack in July, at which point she received the prestigious North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. This honor is conferred by North Caro- lina's governor and, according to the award website, "is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina." Lunt said her speech will focus on the way Fayetteville is such a unique community due to its large popula- tion of veterans and how that relates to opportunities for female business owners and entrepreneurs. "I think the Power Lunch is all about finding out what other busi- nesses are out there and networking with those ladies," Lunt said. "There are some very good, strong businesswomen in this community, and I think they can benefit from just interacting with each other. It empowers them. To know somebody else, to see what they're doing – you pick up on their drive and their initiative. … Each time I go, I understand more and more how valuable this program is." Paulette Naylor, FLPL board of directors member, said she appreciates the timeliness of having Lunt as a keynote speaker. "As we honor and recognize our military veterans this month, I think it's only fitting that we would invite a prestigious female officer to join us to discuss her path and challenges in break- ing through the glass ceiling," Naylor said. The Power Lunch opens at 10 a.m. with registra- tion and an exclusive Shopportunity expo featur- ing dozens of local, women-owned vendors. "This event presents lots of opportunities to spend your dollars locally and help support the outstand- ing women in your community," Naylor said. There will also be a wine bar and wine-tasting. Seating for the Thanksgiving-themed lunch begins at 11:45 a.m. The entrees are turkey with dressing or stuffed pork chop. At noon, opening remarks will be followed by lunch and Lunt's keynote speech. At 1:45 p.m., there will be door prizes courtesy of every vendor, a 50-50 raff le and closing remarks. The formal portion of the event concludes at 2 p.m., leaving an hour for continued networking and conversation before the Power Lunch officially concludes at 3 p.m. This year, the Power Lunch has chosen education as its charity of choice platform. A portion of the luncheon proceeds will benefit the Kidsville News Literacy and Education Foundation, a 501c3 non- profit organization that provides funding assistance for reading and educational resources to school chil- dren in Cumberland and Hoke Counties. The Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch takes place at the Ramada Plaza, 1707-A Owen Dr., and costs $35 to register. Vendor tables and sponsorships are avail- able. To learn more, or to register, visit www.fayettevilleladiespowerlunch.com. Fayetteville Ladies Power Lunch welcomes retired Col. Marsha Lunt by LESLIE PYO EVENTS Sometimes in life, we take certain things for granted. Just imagine what life would be like without having the sense of sight. There are over 900 blind and visually impaired individuals in Cumberland County, which is why the Vision Resource Center presents its Out of Sight Blindfolded Dining Event Saturday, Nov. 18, from 5-10 p.m. at the Hellenic Center. "The purpose of the Out of Sight Din- ing Event is to give people the opportu- nity to get an idea in that space to see what it is like to be blind and visually impaired and how they would feel in that position," Terri Thomas, executive director of The Vision Resource Center, said. "This is why we need funding for the things that we do with the blind." What does it feel like to be blind? Thomas asked this question to blind and visually impaired individuals she did an exercise with. Their answers: scared, vulnerable, not trusting and isolated. "When I participate in activities and I am blind- folded, I am scared – and it is not a good feeling," Thomas said. "I can take my blindfold off at the end of the activity, but they don't have a blindfold on, and this is their reality all day long." Proceeds from the event will be used for train- ing and skills development for blind and visually- impaired individuals. "The funding from the event will be used for adaptation/socialization skills and to support the transportation that is needed to transport these individuals," Thomas said. "They want to do more things that they really like, and they want to be able to socialize with each other." Thomas added t hat blind and v isually-im- paired indiv iduals want to get out and socialize just like ever yone else. They want to enjoy life and have fun. Transportation has also been an issue this year at The Vision Resource Center. "The air conditioner is not work- ing in our bus," Thomas said. "We have to be able to trans- port our people and cannot afford a new one." Adaptive technology is also needed for these individuals. This includes iPhones and technology to help them as they navigate around their homes to perform daily tasks and chores. "It is so disheartening to want to get these items but we just don't have the money for them," Thomas said. "I struggle every year, and it is by the grace of God that we make it every year." Ticket cost is $75 for indi- viduals, $125 for couples and $600 for a reserved table of eight. The Hellenic Center is located at 614 Oakridge Ave. For more information, call (910) 483-2719. Vision Resource Center hosts Out of Sight Dining Event by DR. SHANESSA FENNER DR. SHANESSA FENNER, Prin- cipal, WT Brown Elementary School. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. The Vision Resource Center's Out of Sight Dining Event raises funds for blind and visually-im- paired community members. Retired Col. Marsha Lunt LESLIE PYO, Assistant Editor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200.

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