Supporters of the Altoona Regional Health System invites women to their annual event centered on good food, laughter and proof of the saying that girls just want to have fun.
The Women's Night Out dinner and program, presented by ARHS's Healthy Living Club, will be held at 5:45 p.m. April 26 at The Casino at Lakemont Park in Altoona. Tickets are $40 per person and are on sale now.
Sherry Turchetta, community education specialist for Altoona Regional Health System, said this event has grown year after year because it provides local women of all ages with a good meal and an interesting speaker.
Cea Coen Elliot
"Basically, it's just a good night for friends, family, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, whatever, to get together to enjoy good food, good company and just forget about their cares for a few hours," she said.
This year's speaker will be Xenia, Ohio native Cea Cohen Elliot, who draws upon her experience as a wellness and fitness coach to teach others to laugh more and live better. Both a survivor of cancer and multiple sclerosis, Elliot said she devotes her time to helping people do this so they can learn to simplify things and stop sweating the small stuff.
"Women especially, we take care of the world, but we don't have the foggiest clue how to take care of ourselves," Elliot said. "We identify ourselves with what we accomplish, but I want people to identify themselves with how they are, and how they're taking care of themselves."
Elliot said the things that usually get the most laughs out of her audiences are her personal stories. Though she was raised in an Italian Catholic environment, she said most are "stories we all have in common."
"A lot of people, even when I'm in ethnic audiences, say 'Did you grow up in my household?'" Elliot added.
The advice Elliot offers focuses on eating right, taking care of yourself and living a balanced lifestyle.
"It's not your husband's job. It's not your kid's job. It's not your doctor's job, It's not your work's job. It's your job," Elliot said.
Turchetta said obtaining a speaker to provide both insightful tips and overall enjoyment is the planning committee's goal each year.
"Many of these women don't want to learn anything or be told what they should be doing, they just want a relaxing evening to laugh and let go," she said. "We want to provide that humor that is such a good healer and such a good bond for women."
Good food and a few laughs is what has brought Dana Fieni of Altoona back for Women's Night Out for the past six years, along with her daughters and daughters-in-law.
"It's a family-oriented thing for us," she said. "We do all different things together and this is one that we look forward to."
Not only do Fieni and her family look forward to the nice atmosphere and the event, but the fact that their attendance benefits a good cause.
The night features fundraisers sponsored by Friends of Altoona Regional and the Altoona Regional Health System Founda-tion for Life. Attendees also have the opportunity to buy chances or bid on silent auction items of jewelry donated by Your Jewelry Box on Logan Boulevard in Altoona.
"It's just a great night out," Fieni said. "It's just relaxation from beginning to end."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.