The second annual Arkansas Valley Women’s Expo is coming soon. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 30.

The second annual Arkansas Valley Women’s Expo is coming soon. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 30. The event will take place at 2001 San Juan Avenue in the Otero Junior College Student Center banquet room. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be a day full of speakers, workshops, music and shopping!

This year’s keynote speaker is Stacy Pederson. Stacy will take you on her journey back from the brink of death (several times). She is an engaging and entertaining speaker who makes audiences laugh while encouraging them to foster positive change for their own lives, their organization and the lives of others. Stacy has spoken at major events such as the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Salvation Army, Comcast, All America Bank, multiple women’s conferences, to name a few. "We are so fortunate to have Stacy come to our event," said Holly Lewis, event coordinator. "Her story is powerful, and she shares hope and humor in the face of adversity. That is something that we all can relate to," Lewis said.

We will have several workshops at the event, including starting your own business, learning how to use essential oils for health benefits, exercise, and making your own artwork — and that’s just a few of them. When the event gets closer, we will provide a schedule of events so that guests know in advance when workshops are offered that they would like to attend.

"One of the things that makes our expo different," Lewis said, "is that we are passionate about supporting organizations that help women. This year we are asking for donations for our silent auction that will go toward an organization called Sarah’s Home." Sarah’s Home is located here in Colorado and works with girls ages 12 to 17 who have been rescued from sex trafficking. Sarah’s home also includes a fully accredited, on-site private school, so they can catch up on crucial education they have missed. Sarah’s Home was the vision of the Rocky Mountain District Women’s Ministries who, for 20 years, had taken mission trips all over the world. They had witnessed child sex trafficking in most of the countries they visited, and were extremely heartbroken when they realized the commercial sexual exploitation of minors also happens right here in the United States. For donations to the silent auction, please contact us at 2911@gmail.com or call 469-4343.

This year we are adding a special event the night before. The Friday night soiree will be limited seating and the evening will be full of special memories as women create around the theme of being the “Queen of Your Own Life” along with a dessert and beverage bar. We won’t give away all for that evening but we can tell you that it will be a very special evening.

The vision for the expo is to encourage women in the community to recognize and empower each other to pursue the things we are passionate about whether that is going back to school, learning a new craft, or going on that dream vacation you’ve always wanted, etc. All of us have dreams we want to pursue and sometimes all we need is someone to walk alongside us to remind us that we can do it. Empowered women empower women. We hope you will join us. For more information, you can also find us on Facebook under the Arkansas Valley Women’s Expo.