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It doesnâ€™t matter if you are wearing heels, going barefoot or flip-flopping it, according to Jane Jenkins Herlong, anything can be accomplished as long as you choose to go for it and thatâ€™s just what she did.
Herlong â€“ motivational speaker and former Miss America Pageant contestant â€” will be delivering her speech â€śBare Feet to High Heels and the Flip-Flops In-Betweenâ€ť at the Celebrating Four Fabulous Years Healthy Woman anniversary event Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. in the historic Hotel Settles.
â€śThe anniversary event is something that we look forward to all year and this year it has contained even more excitement,â€ť Amanda Duforat, Healthy Woman co-coordinator said. â€śNot only will we be experiencing the grandeur of the long awaited Hotel Settles, but those attending will be hearing inspirational stories and hopefully take away some valuable lessons from Herlongâ€™s life.â€ť
Herlong was raised in South Carolina on a tomato farm. As a child she was said to be dyslexic, but yet went on to graduate from college and even attended graduate school. As a young girl, she was often told she was no beauty queen, but eventually went on to compete in the Miss America Pageant. Throughout her life she has learned to roll with the negativity and eventually proved all the childhood labels wrong.
â€śObstacles both produce character and reveal character and that is one of the lessons I hope those attending will be able to walk away with after hearing my stories,â€ť Herlong said.
Herlong and Hotel Settles are both shining examples of what can happen with a little perseverance, dedication and a true desire to never give up. After decades of sitting stagnant and undergoing several years of renovations, Hotel Settles has opened its doors to the public.
â€śItâ€™s important to be brave enough to confront your issues and have the courage to speak the truth in love to others. I have learned, between the negativity, the stress and the countless things that could go wrong, laughter is medicine for the soul,â€ť Herlong said.
â€śI hope those attending will appreciate the humor in my stories and be able to leave that evening with an understanding that taking care of themselves is the way to live a healthier life and will help them handle issues in the future. Kill stress, it really does help.â€ť
In addition to traveling to different speaking engagements throughout the year, Herlong is also featured on Blue Collar Radio, Sirius XM 97. She has written two books, has four singing CDs, one DVD and five live performance CDs. After the program, Herlong will be on hand to sign books and CDs, which will be available for $10 each.
â€śThe best piece of advice I can give to anyone would be make wise decisions and that will help lead you to a fulfilling future. Fix whatever is broken and be everything you can be for as long as you can,â€ť Herlong said.
Tickets for the event are sold out. The health expo, which starts at 4:30 p.m. will conclude at 6 p.m., is free and does not require a ticket. Local vendors will be on hand providing health information and informing attendees about services available in the Big Spring community. At this point there are 14 vendors, but more are being sought.
â€śHerlongâ€™s stories include many instances when people said she couldnâ€™t or wouldnâ€™t do something and Hotel Settles has also endured the countless questioning of the project completion. It is clear to see that while both their stories involve obstacles that had to be overcome, itâ€™s also clear to see the end result for both is just amazing.â€ť Anita Cline, Healthy Woman co-coordinator, said. â€śWe are looking forward to what the evening will hold. It is definitely going to be a night to remember.â€ť
For more information, contact Duforat at 432-268-4842 or Cline at 432-268-4721.