On a regular afternoon in St. Augustine, Florida, a group of special people gathered at a local restaurant to achieve their goals.
They came every Friday lunch from all life, including parents and real estate agents, mortgage brokers, doctor assistants, life coaches and flower shop employees. Many represented their own entrepreneurial ventures such as jewelry making, business coaching, spa and health club. Regardless of where they came from, they were there for each other and spent an hour with support and fellowship.
These weekly luncheons are sponsored by an organization called Women Celebrations and are held in five other cities where both men and women participate. According to founder Cheryl Lynn, each luncheon has a theme that suggests the independence and success that everyone wants. Themes are as diverse as “Magnificent”, “Confidence”, “Work”. At a gathering on the theme of “applause,” each attendee explained to the group why they deserve applause.
Members talked about traveling from outside the state, career changes, business success, and personal joy. Each speaker received heartfelt applause for taking a little time to “confront their power”. Lynn’s expression is for people’s ability to find success and empowerment within themselves.
It was the need to celebrate everyday things that inspired Lin to create a women’s festival. Despite three mothers and entrepreneurial success, at the end of the day she was exhausted and discouraged.
“When I completed these wonderful things, I wasn’t hitting my back, and certainly nobody was there,” Lynn said.
As she began her celebration, she created an environment where support and encouragement played an important role.
Today, Women Celebrations has a strong presence in northern Florida, with more chapters or “loops” appearing across the country. This organization is open to everyone who wants to celebrate their lives, share experiences with others through positive interactions, and build a sense of community.