Speak your mind

Keynote speaker Wendy Mesley fit well with the theme of this year’s Kootenay Women’s Show

Wendy Mesley

Wendy Mesley

Tamara Hynd/Fernie Free Press

Speak your Mind, the Kootenay Women’s Show 2014 had an abundance of real Kootenay women gathering at the lovely St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino pavilion on the St. Mary’s reserve near Cranbrook.

This was more than a trade show for local businesses. It was a declaration of independence and a way to raise funds for Abreast in the Rockies dragon boat team.

Special guest CBC anchor Wendy Mesley fit well with the “Speak your Mind” theme of this year’s show. She is more than familiar with issues facing women today, including her own highly publicized battle with breast cancer. In January of 2005, she announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent two lumpectomies, chemotherapy and radiation, eventually receiving a prognosis of ‘excellent’.

Mesley’s experience, along with others going through the same battle, was explored in her documentary ‘Chasing the Cancer Answer’, a hard-hitting commentary on the disease and how it is being treated and researched in this country and abroad.

Participants were encouraged to say or write what was on their mind and capture the moment in the photo booth operated by Wells Photography.

A portion of ticket sales went directly to the Abreast in the Rockies dragon boat team, a group that is instrumental in raising awareness and helping the community. This registered charity directly raises funds for breast cancer projects in the East Kootenay region and has donated to an oncology unit room upgrade, the sentinel node purchase (used to locate lymph node involvement) and the recent digital mammography unit campaign.