Saturday’s Women Are Wonderful event continues county tradition

“It’s a tradition.”

That’s what Maris Hanby, of Union City, said of Women Are Wonderful.

The annual event sponsored by the Jefferson Defrees Family Center (JDFC) and the Zonta Club of Warren celebrated its 17th year this year on Saturday at Jefferson Defrees. Maris and her daughter Hope Glover, of Union City, brought along friend Faye Thoms this year as well.

“I originally found out about it when it started,” said Hope. She and her mom have been coming ever since.

For Maris, the best thing about Women Are Wonderful is that it’s given her an opportunity to bond with her daughter-in-laws over the years.

“It’s just a good thing we can do together,” said Maris, who added that she takes some of what she learns each year back to the handicrafts class she teaches in Union City.

Over the years, she’s picked up skills including jewelry making, soap making, and other crafting ideas from the event that she’s shared back at home. This year, she enjoyed the wine and cheese pairing workshop, as well as the chocolate making and active shooter presentations.

“Now that was really a good, informative session,” said Hanby of the presentation on what to do in an active shooter situation. “It was really, really good.”

Hanby said that her late husband was a police officer in Union City, and that was why she signed up for (Chief Brandon) Deppen’s class. “I’m so glad that I did.”

Over the years, Hope’s favorite presentations have been on gardening, and in particular the rose gardening workshops.

“It’s just a fun, educational day out for women,” said JDFC director Melinda Johnson. Though Johnson is finishing up her first year as director of the agency, she said she is not new to the event. A member of Zonta, Johnson said she’s had plenty of experience with Women Are Wonderful. This year, she said, her role is just expanded.

This year’s attendance, said Johnson, was on par with previous years, and once again the event sold out quickly. The workshop and presentation offerings change a bit each year, said Johnson, but many are roughly the same. Some of the repeats this year included a dog care workshop by staff from Kinzua Veterinary Clinic and simple home repairs, which are always popular according to Johnson.

Deppen’s workshop, Johnson said, was one of the new workshops that enjoyed a high interest. Also new this year was a writing workshop and an introduction to enjoying Warren County’s natural spaces with a presentation on hiking and backpacking in the ANF by Piper VanOrd of Allegheny Outfitters.