Sally Baskey

Recent posts

PRCC speaker says to laugh long and often

POPLARVILLE – Women need laughter and tears to maintain an emotional balance and cope with the changes life brings, the keynote speaker told more than 300 people Saturday at Pearl River Community College for the Women’s Health Symposium.

Sally Baskey of Arlington, Texas, reminded the audience that laughter causes the brain to release endorphins which increase feelings of happiness.

Sally Baskey of Arlington, Texas, was keynote speaker and told the audience laughter is her drug of choice. PRCC Public Relations photo

“You control the dosage,” Baskey said. “That’s what self-medicating is all about.”

Baskey spoke at the fifth annual Women’s Health Symposium, which offered women free health screenings and pampering, including manicures and chair massages; an art walk, break-out sessions on a variety of topics as well as the luncheon where she spoke.

“We’re very proud to have you come to our campus and be part of special events,” Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president, said in welcoming the women.

Health becomes more important to people as they age, he said.

“Quite frankly, we sometimes take our health for granted,” Lewis said. “We hope events like this help put a spotlight on various health issues.”

Women lined up for health screenings, including blood pressure, blood glucose, blood cholesterol and posture analysis. They also stood in line for the chair massages offered by Healing Touch Day Spa in Hattiesburg.

“It was fabulous,” said Alicia Logan of Hattiesburg.

Sharon Ezell, left, and Jean Massey, both of Petal and members of the Hub City Red Hat Dames, get their cholesterol checked Saturday during the Women's Health Symposium at Pearl River Community College. Pricking their fingers are PRCC medical laboratory technology students Kyle Payne of Purvis and Hannah Skipper of Picayune. PRCC Public Relations photo

The luncheon included entertainment by The Voices, PRCC’s jazz vocal ensemble, and more than 100 door prizes. Rachel Fucich of Starkville won the grand prize of a two-night stay at the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino.

Baskey started her career as a motivational speaker after a year which started when her husband left her.

“My husband was not as happy with me as I was with him,” she said. “I so did not see this coming. I get home one day and the man is gone.”

During the next year, the divorce was finalized, their dream home was sold, her Lexus was totaled and her father died of cancer. The changes left her disliking the adage about a door doesn’t close unless a window opens.

“That much cross ventilation can blow you away,” she said.

But the adage is true, and laughter eases the pain, Baskey said.

“Laughter is a good thing,” she said. “Why is it so undervalued as a way to take care of ourselves? Laughter is my drug of choice; crying is my physical therapy. Life is about 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.”

Grand sponsor for the symposium was the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. Silver sponsors were Firth National Bank of Picayune/Poplarville, Hancock Band and Mississippi Power Foundation. Bronze sponsors were BankPlus, Hattiesburg Clinic, Highland Community Hospital, Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, Wal-Mart Supercenter of Picayune and Wesley Medical Center.

PRCC Women’s Health Symposium set for Jan. 29

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College will host the fifth annual Women’s Health Symposium on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, in Crosby and Seal halls on the Poplarville campus. Cost is $20 and includes a continental breakfast and luncheon.

Keynote speaker will be Sally Baskey, a motivational speaker known for using humor to cope with change and get through life.

The symposium starts at 8 a.m. in Crosby Hall with free health screenings. The screenings will be available until 10 a.m.

An art walk, featuring the work of area artists, will take place at the same time. PRCC instructor Trevor Hunt will play guitar during the art walk. Participants will be able to choose to attend two of eight informational sessions before the luncheon.

“The Pearl River Community College Women’s Health Symposium is an event which, as documented in a number of health reports, is needed in Mississippi and especially in our area,” said Dr. Becky Askew, chair of the symposium steering committee. “The symposium will raise  the awareness of the women in this region regarding the need for changes in lifestyles in order to improve the personal health and fitness of our citizens.

“Two important results of this symposium will be that those attending will be better educated regarding their health and will have information which will be helpful in their making positive decisions which will improve not only their lives but also the lives of others around them.”

The concurrent sessions will be at 9:50 and 10:40 a.m. in Seal Hall. Topics are:

  • Normal is Gone and It Won’t Be Back! By Janie Walters of Champion Communications.
  • Financial Planning Basics for Your Financial Well-Being by Michelle Mabry of Wealth Management Consultants.
  • Exercise, No Gym Needed! Anywhere, Anytime, Any Age and Any Level by PRCC instructor Julie Pierce.
  • Protecting Yourself – Legally Speaking by assistant district attorney Monya Creel.
  • What Should Happen at My Yearly Exam? By Dr. Melissa Holland of Hattiesburg Clinic.
  • Just the Facts, Girls! (How to take care of yourself at any age) by Dr. Virginia Crawford of the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Caregiving and Taking Care of the Caregiver by Kathy Van Cleave, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Division of the state Department of Mental Health.
  • Prevention of Heart Disease by Dr. Benjamin Rester of Hattiesburg Clinic.

The luncheon begins at 11:15 a.m. in Crosby Hall.

Baskey is a former Actors Studio instructor who went on to a 25-year career with a major oil company where she demonstrated a strength for managing technical areas as a non-technical person. Her book, “Laughter, My Drug of Choice,” shares her philosophy of using a sense of humor to deal with change.

In addition to Baskey’s presentation, the luncheon will include entertainment by The Voices, PRCC’s jazz vocal ensemble, and the presentation of doors prizes and favors.

The health fair will include free blood pressure, blood glucose/cholesterol, posture analysis, hearing and memory screenings,  lung function assessment, chair massages, manicures and paraffin wax treatment for arthritis and information about women’s health issues, including stress management, nutrition and hormones, tobacco awareness and cancer.

The art walk will be open during the health fair and after the luncheon. Area artisans will offer a variety of works for sale, including oil, watercolor, and mixed media; jewelry, hand_made skin care products, hand_painted frames, quilts, jackets, drawings and pottery.

Registration materials are available by calling 601 403-1317 or by The materials also are available for downloading on the PRCC Website at

PRCC’s Women’s Health Symposium Receives Major Grant

POPLARVILLE – The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Pearl River Community College as grand sponsor of the 2011 Women’s Health Symposium.

The symposium will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29, on the Poplarville campus.

As in past years, the symposium will include free health screenings, break-out sessions dealing with specific health topics and a luncheon. Motivational speaker Sally Baskey of Arlington, Texas, will be the keynote presenter.

“Pearl River Community College’s Women’s Health Symposium provides important health information to women throughout South Mississippi,” said PRCC President William Lewis. “We are appreciative of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation’s continued support of this event, which has grown annually since the first symposium five years ago.”

Approximately 300 women attended the 2010 symposium.

“For the past several years, the foundation has been a major sponsor in this event, which is always attended by several hundred people in our service area,” said Dr. Ted Alexander, chief executive officer of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. “The foundation looks forward to being a part of this health-related activity again.”

Registration materials for the 2011 symposium will be available in December.