YWCA event celebrates health, wellness
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent November 8, 2013 1:26PM
Dr. Janet Seabrook
Updated: November 14, 2013 8:41AM
MERRILLVILLE — The fourth annual YWCA of Northwest Indiana’s Circle of Friends celebrated health and wellness at the Radisson Hotel Oct. 23.
YWCA members proved by example that staying fit and healthy is not just about doing jumping jacks and sit-ups as audience members ate healthy appetizers while watching demonstrations of Jazzercise classes hosted by Frieda Graves and Herman Miller.
They also enjoyed Chicago-style stepping and line dancing demonstrations by “Stepping George” and his students.
YWCA Board Chair Dayna Bennett said the purpose of the “Circle of Friends” event is to highlight the many services offered to the community by the YWCA of Northwest Indiana, as well as thank the supporters and members of the Y.
“We have programs that benefit the entire community, no matter what their ages are,” Bennett said. “We have after-school programs for children, programs for senior citizens, water aerobics with an indoor swimming pool, volunteer services. It is all about closing the gap within the community.”
Second vice-chairwoman Michelle Johnson talked about the YWCA’s existence since 1920 and how it has provided a safe environment for youth and adults.
“We rely on your support to keep us operating as we are very much needed in the community,” Johnson said.
Guest speakers for the event were Community HealthNet executive director Dr. Janet Seabrook and Lori Vinson.
Vinson, 50, who has a visual impairment, has not let that stop her from pursuing her goals in dancing. She has been an active member of the Dance Detour Company in Chicago, which features dancers with disabilities of all levels be active in the performing arts.
“I’ve always wanted to be a better person and not let my impairment stop me. God is my eyes in the world,” Vinson, a Lew Wallace High School alumna, said.
Seabrook spoke on not just being a doctor serving the community, but being a parent and someone who goes beyond perceptions.
“Many people want to put you in a specific label or keep you inside a box. You should not let people do that,” she said.
Seabrook applauded the YWCA for reaching out to people in the community.
“The YWCA supports and practices to eliminate racism throughout Northwest Indiana. They work to eliminate racism and instead, empower women.”
She also read a letter from her daughter, saying her daughter inspires her to do better and continue to raise her to be her own woman.