17th Annual Woman Aware Conference

August 5, 2004 – Posted at 3:42 p.m. CDT


POPLAR BLUFF – Women from all over Region 8 gathered Thursday for the 17th annual Woman Aware Conference at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff.  More than 300 women visited 65 booths, and sat in on workshops and seminars.  Breakout speakers presented topics from how to dress for successful business to learning how to do-it-yourself when it comes to home repairs.  Organizers see the event as a way for women to network.

“Seventeen years ago, some of those same ladies are still involved today.  And it’s just that same vision of helping women in rural areas, networking abilities and a way to motivate and reenergize and regroup for the next year,” said Conference Director Janet McNece.

The Woman Aware Conference has been a big part of Poplar Bluff for the last 17 years.  Over time, the event and organization ahs changed and has seen many woman network for success.

The Conference isn’t just about gardening, cooking or health issues.  This year, as times have changed, so has the conference.  A Conference that has accommodated more than 500 women at one time has to be able to offer many different choices for breakout sessions.  One of the big topics this year, antiques.

“I think there are a lot of people doing it, because it’s fun and it’s nostalgic.  You get to look back at things your grandparents had and remember happy times,” said breakout session speaker Lynn Maples.

Conference attendee Bunny Sisk agreed.  “There are so many reproductions that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could really be taken.”

More and more women are becoming financially involved in collecting and selling antiques.  But how can you make sure you’re not getting ripped off?


“We just talked about the different types of glassware.  The different marks they should look for on the glassware.  Reproductions that are out there and ways you can tell a reproduction from the real thing,” said Maples.


With the new Missouri concealed weapon law passed recently, one of the most popular classes for women this year was on gun safety.

"Like most women, I'm out a lot in the evenings and I have considered taking training," said Carolyn Cornman as she sat in on a session titled, "Gun Safety and the Missouri Law."

Breakout speaker Charlie Sisk said, "The violence against women is increasing or has increased over the past years and they need to know how to protect themselves."

Women were able to learn about proper ways to handle a gun and the laws around owning one.

"One of the most important things to know is how to handle weapons safely and how to carry it safely," said Sisk.

Doris Scott of Malden said, “The laws of who can carry, who can’t, who can apply and where guns can be carried in are very confusing.  So I was just interested in all of it.”

If you would like to get involved in Women Aware, you can call (573) 686-8624 or log onto their website at www.womenawareinc.com