Radiologic technology instructor Kathleen Taggart joined dozens of Brookdale faculty and students in hosting the first annual “Women’s Weekend” in Asbury Park on Sept. 18 and 19.
The event offered entertainment, educational seminars and other programming throughout the weekend, drawing hundreds of local residents while raising money for Mary’s Place By the Sea, an Ocean Grove-based support center for women with cancer.
“We were extremely happy with how everything worked out,” said Taggart, president of the nonprofit “Women’s Weekend” board of trustees.
“We were able to involve the community, provide some practical experience for our students and make a real difference. I’m not exaggerating when I say we saved a couple lives this weekend.”
Friday began with a number of seminars on topics such as women’s health, financial planning and cooking, all leading up to a special “Women’s Weekend” performance by comedienne Suzanne Westenhoefer at the Wonderbar.
On Saturday, Brookdale students and faculty volunteered at booths along the Asbury Park boardwalk, handing out information, goodie bags and putting their professional skills to good use. Nursing students, working with assistant nursing professors Bonnie Ross and Helen Heinmets, took more than 300 blood pressures while explaining that heart disease is the number one killer of women across the globe.
“In addition to the screenings, the students also advised people on heart-healthy lifestyle choices,” Ross said. “They really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to practice both their professional and their people skills. We could not be more proud of our students.”
Radiologic technology students, under the direction of Taggart, spent the day registering bone marrow donors, ultimately identifying more than 20 matches for patients in need. Saturday concluded with an all-female musical performance at the Beach Bar, followed by a late afternoon beach party.
Taggart said she plans to make “Women’s Weekend” an annual event.
To learn more about “Women’s Weekend” and to view more photos, click here.
(Photos courtesy of “Women’s Weekend volunteers)