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FUSE builds connections at weekend retreat

Saturday, 30 September 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

FUSE builds connections at weekend retreat
Women of FUSE on the first evening of the two-day retreat held in Coleman over the weekend. Donna Bilyk, owner of Artist’s Touch in Coleman, worked with the diverse group to create mandala art.   Photo by Rachel Newrick

FUSE builds connections at weekend retreat

By Rachel Newrick

FUSE — friendship, unity, support and empowerment. Knowing that a diverse group of women were going to gather at the Coleman Seniors Centre on Sept. 22 and 23 for a weekend retreat did not fully prepare me to end Friday night shaking my body to moves that included do the chicken, screw in the light bulb, knead the bread and Irish jig.

Wendy Harrington, with her quiet energy and gentle smile, inspired everyone in the room to participate in the dance before giving a mesmerizing solo dance performance using multi-coloured silk ribbons.

Women of Canada Eh Club FUSE, founded by M.J. Myden, aims to bring together women from all walks of life for support, interaction and collaboration — and this weekend certainly did that. We danced, we ate, we listened to inspirational speakers, we cooked, we made connections, we engaged with fellow business owners, we beat drums, we drew mandala art, we created a collaborative glass artwork memento and, mostly importantly, we formed connections and made friendships.

This extraordinary effort by M.J. and a team of volunteers meant that the retreat, originally planned to be held near Waterton Lakes National Park, was simply moved rather than cancelled in response to the recent fires.

Many local businesses and individuals contributed generously to the retreat — and as much as it is a cliche, there are too many to name. The support was phenomenal. The FUSE retreat in turn supported Let’s Help Jake.

Sometimes we forget the importance of unity, the necessity for support, how important our friendships are and what it feels like to be empowered.

For a few hours this weekend, I felt totally connected to a group of women of whom, prior to the weekend, I knew one-third well, one-third by name and the final third not at all. And it was fabulous.

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Wendy Harrington performs at the FUSE retreat Friday evening.   Photo by Shannon Robison

Read more in this week’s online edition here.
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From the September 27, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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