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Centralia BPW learns about women’s self defense


The August meeting of Centralia Business and Professional Women was held on August 9 at First Christian Church. President Stephanie House welcomed members and guests Allison Wiltison, Lauren Schwartz and Ellie McClelland. She then began the meeting with the reciting of the Collect and Pledge of Allegiance. Birthday celebrants for July and August were honored and chose a gift from the birthday basket.

Jason Coulter (standing) and Jeffrey Smith (on mat)

Education Chair Becca Deomes introduced the program for the evening. Tim Prodyma, owner and Head Instructor of Centralia Martial Arts Academy; Jason Coulter, sixth degree black belt; and Jeffrey Smith, first degree black belt gave a demonstration on women’s self defense, showing many strategic moves in the event of an attempted assault. Tim stated that Pepper spray is not always the “go to” tool to use as it may make the assailant angrier. He stated car keys are a good protection devise as it is a natural item to be carrying to your vehicle. Another suggestion was to enter your car, immediately lock it, start the engine and turn on the headlights. Hopefully, this will prevent any “bad guy” from beating you to your vehicle. Member Carrie Perkins-Schnicker graciously volunteered to try some of the moves to deter a potential assault.

Dawn Cleary presented the treasurer’s report along with the presentation of bills. The 50/50 drawing was won by Tammy Resch. Finance Chair Nancy James collected funds from members wishing to make brags. She then presented the proposed 2023/2024 general fund budget. After discussion and approved changes, the budget was approved. Karen Rogers presented proposed changes to the by-laws. All were approved and accepted. The member directory is in the process of being updated and will be available soon.

BPW Week chairpersons are working on events to make it a very exciting week. More information will be coming soon.

The next meeting is at 6:00 p.m. at City Hope Church, 1000 E. 3rd. Speaker will be Executive Pastor Nicole Lyons who will discuss community projects the church supports. Dinner at 5:30 p.m. will be catered by Baldy’s BBQ featuring smoked pork loin, pulled chicken, macaroni & cheese, brussels sprouts and desserts provided by Tammy Resch.

For more information about BPW, please contact President Stephanie House (618-533-5758) or membership chair Karen Walsh (618-967-3919) or any other BPW member.

Pictured at top: Becca Deomes, Jason Coulter, Tim Prodyma, Jeffrey Smith, and Stephanie House

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