CAPE MAY — More than sixty fifth- and sixth-grade girls from Wildwood, Middle Township, Cape May, West Cape May and Lower Township attended a GIRLZ RULE conference at Lower Cape May Regional High School on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The conference is an annual event offered by Soroptimist International of Cape May County and is designed to give young girls tools they can use to succeed in life, to build self-esteem and to have fun together.
Three workshops were offered during the event:
• How to Build Your Dream: A workshop discussing different and creative ways to achieve your dream, led by local author Mary Ann Castagnetta.
• Busy Bees: First-hand experience of beekeeping and the health benefits of honey, presented by Karen Barr, a Lower Cape May high school science teacher and Soroptimist member.
• Look Good, Feel Good: A skin, make-up and hair-care workshop given by Jen Chatwin of Shear Sunsations Salon.
Free breakfast, lunch and snacks were served.
The keynote speaker was Michelle Vanderhoof. Her topic was “Mindful Laughter,” a funny and entertaining look at the benefits of smiles and laughter in your life.
In addition to the fifth- and sixth-graders, Lower Cape May Regional junior and senior girls were teamed up with the younger girls to act as mentors and buddies for the day. The high school girls were under the guidance of Mary Rose Bispels, a teacher at LCMRHS and a Soroptimist member. The program was co-chaired by Bispels and Barr.
Soroptimist International is a global organization that has a chapter of 58 members in Cape May County. The group's focus is to empower women and young girls in Cape May County through awards and scholarships, leadership conferences and visits to nursing homes. They also support many community-based organizations such as Coalition Against Rape and Abuse and The Family Promise of North Cape May. For more information about Soroptimist International or to become a donor or member, see sicmc.com.