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2nd Annual Empowerment Conference Transmits Powerful Message From The Broken Hearted Foundation
7/2/2014 8:51:45 PM

Elder Lynette Greene
By Damion Smalls

An eclectic group of speakers and performers made for an attentive crowd at Cooper River Baptist Church on Saturday, June 21st for the second edition of the Broken Hearted Foundation’s Empowerment Conference.

Aimed towards building strength within the family, the Broken Hearted Foundation is local non-profit that supports battered women and children. The organization was founded in 2012 by Darlene Sanders, herself a survivor of domestic violence.

The theme of the conference was “Taking Flight”. Gentry Via of Cumulus Media served as emcee of the event. Via led the conference with a prayer and told his story through various trials in his life which have in turn made him a stronger person. He has managed to raise 26 children in his lifetime with pride and love.

The first performer was renowned local artist Anne Caldwell of “Anne Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers”, who elegantly vocalized “Wind Beneath My Wings”. Ms. Caldwell was followed by Dr. Evaline E. Delson of Delson Chiropractic. After delving into her past with guiding a friend through an abusive relationship, the doctor taught the audience how important the spine is for normal, everyday functions. She lectured an active and well-postured lifestyle for optimum health.

Lisa Helmly from the Lowcountry Food Bank extended the conversation on healthy living. She utilized a slideshow which outlined her key points of clean eating, stress management, and exercise. Her motto of “THRIVE not just survive” sought to push people to go live their lives to the fullest by gaining good habits.

The Executive Director of YWCA Charleston, Kathleen Rodgers, next narrated her experience and those of others with domestic violence with an audible pain in her voice. Rodgers spoke about the cycle of abuse victims often find themselves in and South Carolina’s poor record with violence against women.

Christian, a solo artist who has moved on past his own hardships with domestic abuse, sang “I Need You Know” after Rodgers spoke. Jamila Smith of Destin to Praise Him Ministries followed the song with a graceful dance number. Smith was briefly partnered by a precocious one year old girl, much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Elder Lynette Greene then presented her ideals with her book ‘I’m Broke & I Couldn’t Care Less’. Greene attempted to place proper perspective for people with money problems by saying to cut down spending, budget time as valuable, and come to terms with the reason why they became broke. She provided a much needed shot in the arm for many who have ran out of answers with her book, radio show, and television program Money Matters TV.

The final two speakers were both LPCs (Licensed Professional Counselors). The first, Donna Salenero, based her talk around coping skills. Salenero also discussed what her services entail, such as help with relationship issues, depression, anxiety, and getting past the stigma of mental health/psychiatry. The second, Melissa L. Craven, used her enthusiasm to promote her mission to start a support group for battered men in Charleston. It would be the first of its kind in the state.

Pamphlets, brochures, and worksheets were displayed to further educate the participants. They provided financial assistance, amazing facts about the human body, and resources to aid people being abused. In addition, there were balloon animals formed for the kids and a silent auction held. Lunch was produced by Duval Catering, Roly Poly Rolled Sandwiches and Pepsi.

Via ended the conference on a hopeful note as he pledged to be even more involved with next year’s edition. Sanders added her thanks for everyone involved with the event including sponsors, volunteers, and the audience. A warm-hearted soul with ambition to spare, Darlene Sanders plans on guiding the Broken Hearted Foundation to greater awareness in the Holy City with relevant knowledge and respectful patronage for those in need.

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