Rocky Fork Enterprise

Wine, cheese, chocolate

Transition Network to host 'Celebration of Age'

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Women ages 50 and older will have an opportunity to enjoy wine, cheese and chocolate during "A Celebration of Age" fundraiser hosted by the central Ohio chapter of the Transition Network.

The annual event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, at the Olde Sanctuary, 82 N. High St., in Gahanna. An RSVP is requested by Friday, June 20. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for guests.

Carol Oswald, the central Ohio chapter leader, said the group encourages women to enjoy being their age and make the most of it.

The stated mission of the Transition Network is that it's an inclusive community of professional women, 50 and forward, whose changing life situations lead them to seek new connections, resources and opportunities.

This year's event will feature a panel of accomplished women -- Cindy Lazarus, Mary B. Relotto and Susan Collins -- who will focus on the topic, "Don't Fear Change; Change Fear."

Lazarus was a 10-year member of Columbus City Council, and became only the second woman in the history of Columbus to serve as council president. She's the CEO/president of Flying Horse Farms, which provides camping experiences for children with serious medical conditions on a 200-acre farm in Mount Gilead. She previously served as CEO/president of the YWCA Columbus.

Relotto is founder and CEO of Dames Bond and owner of Mary B's Gift Shop in German Village. She has expertise in connecting entrepreneurs to consumers and clients through networking, public speaking, event planning and marketing. In 2007, Dames Bond offered the first all-female, online business directory, accessible to all consumers.

Collins is the executive director of the Transition Network. She's a 20-year veteran of the real estate and homebuilding business. She was involved in all aspects of the business while serving on the leadership team of a $350 million division of Pulte Homes, one of the nation's largest homebuilders.

Organizing committee chairwoman and moderator for the panel will be Diana Westhoff.

In addition to the panel discussion, women will hear music of the 1960s and 1970s by Ralph Leeseberg and Jim Fuller.

Raffles also will be held throughout the evening for such prizes as jewelry, skin care, hand-crafted notes, massages, wine tour and tasting, dance lessons, artwork and baby gifts.

"It is a great way to make new friends and find out what other women in transition are up to," Oswald said.

The local chapter meets on the third Monday of each month at the Quest Conference Center on Polaris Parkway, with such programs as preserving items for your genealogy, improvisational theater, the seasons of transition, "You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Cheap, Easy or Fake!" and a writers peer group.

In the late 1990s, the Transition Network was founded by Charlotte Frank and Christine Millen after they realized it was time to leave the careers that had defined them, according to the organization's website at thetransitionnetwork.org. They thought the idea of retirement felt like a big empty space and questioned how to make the most of the years ahead.

The network currently serves 2,100 members and connects with more than 8,000 nationally through a newsletter and programs.

For more information about the network, email Oswald at CentralOhioChapter@thetransitionnetwork.org.

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