Dixie State Women’s Conference features Elizabeth Smart, Miss Dixie, female community leaders

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University will host its annual Mother-Daughter Weekend and Women’s Conference on Feb. 23, with former kidnap victim, activist and ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Smart headlining.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Be-YOU-tiful” and focuses on encouraging women to remain beautiful and strong in today’s changing world. It will be hosted by reigning Miss Dixie Krissia Beatty, a business and marketing major who won a full tuition scholarship at the Miss Dixie Homecoming Queen Pageant last fall.

Beatty will compete in the 2013 Miss Utah Pageant this June for a chance to advance to the 2014 Miss America Pageant.

“Women face many obstacles in the world today, especially in the face of adversity, challenges and change,” Beatty said. “The workshop presentations and keynote addresses will provide women with the tools they will need in their everyday lives to balance work and family while maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Elizabeth Smart, whose abduction from her family’s home in Salt Lake City in 2002 at age 14 became one of the most publicized child kidnapping cases in the nation’s history. She was found by police nine months later and has since become an advocate for change in national legislation on child abduction laws and recovery programs, through her Elizabeth Smart Foundation.

Two years ago, Smart worked with the Department of Justice and four other kidnap survivors to create “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment,” a guide for children who have gone through similar experiences. She has also helped promote the AMBER Alert and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. Her abduction and recovery motivated parents, law enforcement and people around the world to focus more intensely on children’s safety, vigilance in finding missing children and the belief that there is always hope.

The conference also features a presentation from Merrilee Webb, director of DSC’s “Raging Red” show choir, and breakout sessions hosted by Elizabeth Muto Hunterton of the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, Darci Hansen, founder and editor-in-chief of Elan Woman Magazine, retired educator Debbie Zockoll and Elisabeth Bingham, co-founder of Humanitarian Experience for Youth. Dillard’s will sponsor a fashion show and entertainment during the luncheon.

The conference will be held Feb. 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gardner Center Ballroom on the DSC campus. The cost to attend is $10, which includes not only the day’s events but a ticket to the DSU basketball doubleheader against BYU Hawaii at 5 p.m. Reservations can be made by contacting Deb Millet at 435-652-7514.

Event details and contact information

Date: Feb. 23

Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Gardner Center Ballroom, DSC campus

Admission: $10

Contact: Deb Millet – 435-652-7514

UPDATE Feb. 19, 2013 – references to Dixie State College are amended to Dixie State University consistent with law signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on Feb. 16, 2013.

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1 Comment

  • Burnett February 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    To Elizabeth Smart:
    Happy Anniversary

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