Women’s Life Festival 2004 was a tremendous success. Attendance grew 35 percent from last year, and funds raised and donated to the American Heart Association nearly doubled the 2003 donation. Thanks to women of the River Valley, this year’s donation was $6, 836.50 Five hundred women took a break from car pooling, cleaning and kids on Saturday,September 25, and joined Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, American Heart Association and Arkansas Tech University on the Tech campus to enjoy a day of screenings, seminars and pampering. Doors opened at 8 a.m., though a line began forming closer to 7 a.m. While a group of ladies who had fasted in order to participate in the free cholesterol screening rushed immediately up the stairs of Doc Bryan, another group of women snacked on muffins and fruit while listening to Dr. Ison of Millard-Henry Clinic Dardanelle talk about women and heart health. Dr. Turner of Russellville Family Clinic took to the stage next where he urged women to walk, citing research that suggested drastic changes to health and longevity. Adam Hanry, executive chef of Winrock International, followed the doctors’ performances with cooking demonstration. He prepared fresh tilapia topped with salsa, green beans and cranberries. Though the luncheon was just moments away, several women stood in line to sample Adam’s creation.

Additional screenings performed that morning included:

  • 280 cholesterol screenings
  • 280 glucose screenings
  • 130 bone density screenings
  • 70 skin cancer screenings
  • 70 posture assessments
  • 200 foot screenings
  • 60 menopause self-exams

New to the 2004 festival was a silent auction featuring purses donated by local vendors. This event alone raised more than $1,000 for the American Heart Association. Women were invited to bid on purses from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and winners were announced before day’s end. Just after 11 a.m., attendees were ushered to Chambers Cafeteria for a luncheon, style show, keynote speaker and award announcements. While dining on tequila-lime grilled chicken, ladies watched as models from stores including Feltner’s, M. Hills’, Leflers and Copper Pig Kids paraded throughout the audience in the newest trends. Susan Van Dusen, editor of Arkansas Bride, emceed the style show. Lola Gillebaard, a motivational speaker from California, followed with humorous tales of growing up and raising a family. She encouraged women to adopt a positive attitude during times of stress. Mrs. Gillebaard finished to a standing ovation. Senator Sharon Trusty then took to the stage for presentation of the awards. Mrs. Maysel Teeter was completely caught off guard when Trusty announced her as the winner of the Women’s Life Award, an award Trusty won in 2003. Mrs. Martha Williams was just as surprised when Trusty asked her to come on stage to receive the Women’s Lifetime Achievement award. The day ended at 1:30 p.m., though many women mingled in the cafeteria and parking lots, laughing, smiling and hugging, until much later.