Victoria Pruden of Bridges for Women (left), hosts Mayor Lisa Helps (right) at the non-profit’s annual luncheon for International Women’s Day. This year’s event took place March 8 at the Union Club of B.C. Photo courtesy Bridges for Women

Bridges for Women luncheon in Victoria leaves guest inspired

The event included a panelist of empowered women

Bonnie Lewis, stands in front of a microphone at the front of a room packed with hundreds of women and men on March 8 for the annual International Women’s Day Luncheon. She opens her mouth to speak but pauses, summoning the strength needed for her presentation. “Bridges means …,” and Lewis pauses again, sniffling loudly into the microphone. As a tear begins to run down her face Lewis begins again “Bridges means everything to me.”

RELATED: Insta-Monarch: Queen Elizabeth makes first Instagram post

As a graduate of the Bridges for Women Society’s program, Lewis says her transformation has changed her, her life and everything in it. A tangible symbol of her success is a vision board she made prior to entering the program and another vision board she produced after. The biggest difference between boards is the lack of material items on the second one and the increase of inspirational quotes and feelings Lewis says she’s been empowered to manifest herself since completing the program.

RELATED: UVic professor says his ‘toxi masculinity’ promted him to step down following a program investigation

Bridges for Women Society provides unique employ-ability training for women with histories of trauma, abuse and violence, embodying the philosophy of empowering women through education, training and professional one-on-one support.

Besides hearing experiences of women who have been supported through Bridges for Women, three panelists shared their experiences navigating life as a successful business women. Hearing from Laura Poland, general manager of Mayfair mall, Sybil Verch, senior vice president and national director of wealth management for Raymond James Ltd and Penny Sakamoto, publisher for Black Press Media.

Sharing laughs, stories and advice the event left everyone feeling the way they should be on International Women’s Day — empowered.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vaping a growing problem in Sooke school district

Island’s chief medical officer raises the alarm

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read