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Hinsdale’s Robert Crown Center helps girls and women celebrate themselves

Madelyn Schackart, 12, of Hinsdale, her 10-year-old sister Emma, and  Sydney Thayer, 12, hang a poster for the Feb. 8 Happy to Be Me event in the Walgreens drugstore in Grant Square. | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media   Jan. 3, 2014
Madelyn Schackart, 12, of Hinsdale, her 10-year-old sister Emma, and  Sydney Thayer, 12, hang a poster for the Feb. 8 Happy to Be Me event in the Walgreens drugstore in Grant Square. | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media   Jan. 3, 2014
Serena Martinath (from left), 14, her mother Sarah, Jennifer Schackart and Barbara Thayer hang posters for the Feb. 8  Happy to be Me event, with Emma and Madelyn Schackart and  Sydney Thayer.  | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media
Girls participated in last year's Happy to Be Me event at the Robert Crown Center in Hinsdale. | Provided
Girls participated in last year's Happy to Be Me event at the Robert Crown Center in Hinsdale. | Provided

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Happy to Be Me! What: a luncheon with an empowerment message for women and girls When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 Where: Carlisle Banquets, at 435 E. Butterfield Road, Lombard Cost: $50 per person Register: https://rcche.ejoinme.org/?tabid=499474 or www.robertcrown.org For more information: Call Barb Thayer, at the Robert Crown Center for Health Education, at (630) 325-1900, Ext. 235 or email her at bthayer@robertcrown.org.

Boosting girls’ self esteem and confidence and having fun are the goals of the Happy to Be Me! luncheon on Feb. 8, presented by the Robert Crown Centers for Health Education in Hinsdale.

The program includes boutique shopping, raffle baskets, a speaker, lunch and other activities.

“New this year will be three photo booths for the girls and the important women in their lives,” said Joan Drummond Olson, the center’s interim executive director.

The photo booths will be a great place to snap photos for scrapbooks with friends and family, Olson said.

The speaker, Harriet Turk, was chosen because she is dynamic and engages the audience. She challenges people to reach their highest potential, and she’s entertaining.

“I saw her at a youth to youth conference,” said Barbara Thayer, development associate for Robert Crown. “She talked about being confident about who you are and standing up for yourself.”

Thayer’s 12-year-old daughter, Sydney, was at the conference and urged her mother to book Turk for the Robert Crown event.

“She loved it,” Thayer said.

“She was so funny,” Sydney said.

Happy to Be Me was held last year for the first time and all 400 seats sold out, so seating has been increased to 500, Olson said.

“We have really stuck a chord with families,” Olson said. “Establishing and maintaining healthy self esteem in women and girls seems to be something everyone is talking about.”

Turk also will talk about how to cope with failure and the importance of trying again.

Their target audience is girls in fifth to eighth grade, but the message is relevant for women of all ages, Thayer said.

“It’s cyclical,” said Sarah Martinath of Hinsdale. “I have a daughter who just survived middle school and a 6-year-old.” In an affluent community like Hinsdale, young girls are not just influenced by celebrities and advertising they see but also by their own peers.

Martinath’s 14-year-old daughter, Serena, plans to attend the luncheon. What she learned in middle school, she said, is “you have to have faith in yourself and have friends you can trust and who have your back. They will bring you back up when you are down.”

The luncheon is a fundraiser for the Robert Crown Center. With the speaker, shopping at booths set up by local retailers, prizes and fun photos, the event is festive as well as informational, Olson said.

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Happy to Be Me! What: a luncheon with an empowerment message for women and girls When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 Where: Carlisle Banquets, at 435 E. Butterfield Road, Lombard Cost: $50 per person Register: https://rcche.ejoinme.org/?tabid=499474 or www.robertcrown.org For more information: Call Barb Thayer, at the Robert Crown Center for Health Education, at (630) 325-1900, Ext. 235 or email her at bthayer@robertcrown.org.
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