The Women’s Festival and Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards 2014

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Seated, Deborah Hutchison. From left to right, standing: Patty DeDominic, Dana Ochoa, Sally Smeed, Kim Castle, Sonia Marsh, Lee Langley, Dr. Jennifer Conrad, “Twinkle” Marie Manning, Deepa Willingham, Linda Newlin, Felicia Johnson, Razia Jan, Janet Ault.

Let me start off by saying thank you to all of you who helped me get to California for the Santa Barbara Women’s Festival 2014. Thanks to you, I was there to accept an honoree award for my nomination for the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Award. My award is in recognition of overcoming childhood abuse and psychological adversity to become and author and inspirational role model as a Gutsy Gal. It truly meant the world to me to know that I have so many supporters among friends, family, and fans.

I’d like to recognize those family, friends, and fans who helped me with their love and support. Special thanks to: Writer and fellow nominee Sonia Marsh of Gutsy Living, Dr. Virginia Felder of Roots & Branches, Dustin Johnson, LPC, Jacqueline Lo’Leta Vick, Stand-up Comedian Darkim Marshall, Donzella Fibleuil, Joyce Savage of Make BPD Stigma Free, Writer and Humanitarian Perto Herrera, my wonderful publicist Lauren Stiles of PDAN.org, Barry Johnson, Singer/Songwriter Anon aka Barry Blackson, Fashionista and best sister in the whole world Laura Vick, and Highland Institute therapist Candice Osborn.

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Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Honoree Award

I had such a wonderful time at the Women’s Festivals Santa Barbara thanks to all of the inspiring and incredible women who were there. What I enjoyed most were the stories that everyone who participated shared. Wisdom, courage, bravery, and honor shined from each and every person who had a story to share.

It’s refreshing to know that there are strong, courageous, and beautiful women who are not afraid to be gutsy. It was a great pleasure and deep honor to share the stage with all of the nominees. The Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards were a huge success thanks to Deborah Hutchison, founder of Gutsy Gals Inspire Me® and Patty DeDominic, founder of the Santa Barbara Women’s Festival. They are the original Gutsy Gals!

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From left to right: Patty DeDominc, Fee Johnson and Deborah Hutchinson

The Women’s Festival was held at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, California from March 7th to the March 8th. On Sunday, March 9th, I had the honorable privilege to attend a VIP brunch for sponsors and the Gutsy Gal Awards nominees and winners at the house of our host, Patty DeDominic.

I finally was able to meet one of my role models! Sonia Marsh of Gutsy Living. I came in 2nd place in her Gutsy Writing Contest earlier this year.

The nominees for the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards 2014 were: Dana Ochoa, Sally Smeed, Kim Castle, Sonia Marsh, Lee Langley, Dr. Jennifer Conrad, “Twinkle” Marie Manning, Deepa Willingham, Linda Newlin, Felicia Johnson, Razia Jan, Janet Ault, Christina Aguirre-Kolb, Barbara Liss, and Maria Alyokhinam, Yekatrerina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, members of Pussy Riot.

The winners of the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards 2014 are: Razia Jan for the International Award, Deepa Willingham for the National Domestic Award, and Lee Langley for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Actress Kelly LeBrock was The Gutsy Gals Inspire Me 2014 Celebrity Honoree. She gave a wonderful talk about her DUI Arrest and overcoming her problems.

Razia Jan won The International Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Award for starting a girls’ school in Afghanistan where education for girls is frowned upon.

Deepa Willingham won The National Domestic Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards because she has advocates to educate children and she fights against sex trafficking.

Lee Langley won the Lifetime Achievement Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Awards because she had the vision at 23 years of age to co-found a school for delinquent boys.

There is no doubt in my mind that these women are the gutsiest and most deserving of such a high honor. Every woman who I was blessed to share the honor of being nominated with are deserving of recognition for their hard work and courage. No one can be compared because we all are great and gutsy women!