MARSHALL - Community members gathered at the Marshall Middle School for the Independent's first Exceptional Women of Southwest Minnesota awards banquet Monday night.
Motivational speaker Kristen Brown, author of "The Best Worst Thing" and "The Happy Hour Effect," started the event by speaking about recognizing your stress cues and cures. Brown lost her husband to a heart attack when he was only 30 and said she had to decide if she was going to continue mourning or if she was going to jump back into life.
"Stress can be a good thing," Brown said. "It can protect us. But it is up to us to work on our stress in our own ways, because stress will never go away. We need to learn how to create peace in our lives to alleviate stress."
Photo by Anna Haecherl-Smith
Pictured are the nominees at the first-ever Exceptional Women of Southwest Minnesota banquet Monday night. Not pictured: Jeanne Allex.
Brown gave the crowd tips on how to conquer stress, including a life map to help sort out everything we do each day.
"But most importantly," Brown said, "You need to look out for yourself and put yourself first."
"Things that you do that make you the happiest... do those things on your most stressful days," Brown said.
She also put importance on taking in the current moment, that we are always thinking of what is next and rarely do we stop and think of where we are now.
"Am I prioritizing the right things? People? Myself?" she said.
After Brown spoke, three women from the 37 nominees were chosen to receive the Exceptional Woman award. The three recognized women were Becky Moorse, Deb Herrmann and Jeanne Allex.
Moorse is the Westerheim Flashing Stars 4-H club leader, and she is also active on the Lyon County Federation and Livestock committees and helps with FFA. Moorse and her husband also serve as dairy and dairy goat superintendents for the Lyon County dairy project. Moorse volunteers at her local church in Minneota as the youth director for the St. Edward's COF. She is also the pick-up person for the church's local prescription program and sits on the Flurry of Fun committee for religious education. Moorse and her husband, Greg, live south of Minneota. They have six children: Brittany, Grant, Garrett, Gared, Grady and Brooke.
Herrmann is the Marshall High School nurse and supervisor for the district school nurses.
She currently volunteers as a member of Christ Lutheran Church, a board member for Prairie Home Hospice and Community Care, the adult facilitator for Marshall ACTS, and a member of a community restorative justice circle. Herrmann and her husband, Dan, live in Marshall. They have three children: Matthew, Stephen and Amanda, and five grandchildren.
Allex says that she serves "poor women, women with disabilities, women of different cultures and anyone in need of food or transportation." In the past, Allex has volunteered with the HUG council, Habitat for Humanity, and as a Stephen Minister. She currently gives her time to Birthright of Marshall and the local homeless shelter. Jeanne lives with her husband, Tom, east of Marshall.