By Crystal Eynon
Staff Writer

It may sound a bit confusing for those who weren’t in attendance: a lunchbox fashion show. But one highlight of  the “Be Your Own Valentine” Women’s Leadership Lunchbox Series event on Feb. 9 was a lunchbox fashion show where the money raised went to the Lorain County Leadership program.

Marva Jones delivers her inspiring message. Mike McFarland|The Collegian


The Lorain County Leadership program serves as a “catalyst for positive change,” explained Director of the Community Outreach, Clare Cygan Young.  LLC female members arranged the show.

The women in the audience enjoyed their packed lunches from home while watching a lunchbox fashion show. The fashion show was put on by six men dressed in feather boas and colorful wigs. In their hands they each carried a lunchbox which would be raffled off to a lucky woman in the audience. There were a total of eight lunchboxes. Each lunchbox harbored gifts inside including gift cards, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, and more.

The main speaker of the event, back by popular demand, was a past Women’s Leadership Lunchbox Series speaker, Marva Jones. Jones is the current clinical director of the Chemical Dependency Program at Psych and Psych, an ordained minister, a PhD graduate, and a self-proclaimed sports fanatic. She takes joy in empowering women with her words of wisdom.

“You need to teach people how to love you,” Jones said as she had enlightened the audience of nearly 80 women.

For the single ladies in the audience, Jones advised, “make sure you have your standards on what it is you are looking for.” She explained a woman should never settle for just any man. While waiting for the one that meets her standards, a woman must enjoy herself.

The collectable lunchboxes that were raffled off for the fundraisng event Mike McFarland|The Collegian

Women all over the room laughed and nodded in approval with Jones’ speech. Jones wrapped up her speech by describing the four things women should continue to do throughout their lives. Those four things are love yourself, affirm yourself, take care of yourself, and respect yourself. She explained to be your own Valentine you must begin by loving yourself.
The lunchbox event wrapped up by acknowledging “women who nurture and cherish”: the women of the Lorain County Leadership program who volunteer their time to programs BBBS, Voices for Children, Family Promise, El Centro, and the Lorain County Rape Crisis program.

The event seemed to be a hit as the women of the audience cheered happily, found a new sense of confidence, and made new friends.

The next Women’s Leadership Lunchbox Series event will be  May 23.

For more info about LLC programs and how to become a member go to

Mike McFarland
contributed to this report