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TWE INTERVIEW–Katie Blomquist Is Going Places with Joy and Bikes for Kids

Katie Blomquist – Going Places Non Profit

Going Places Non Profit – Bikes for Kids

The Women’s Eye contributor Patricia Caso talks to Katie Blomquist, founder of Going Places, an innovative nonprofit supplying bikes to children in Charleston, S.C. area Title 1 schools. The bikes are for kids who never had the chance to own one. Katie explains how she started GP and what a difference it’s making.

Katie Blomquist, founder Going Places supplying bikes to kids in Charleston, S. Carolina/Photo Courtesy Katie Blomquist

Katie Blomquist, founder of Going Places/La Tasha Bellamy Photography

By Patricia Caso/June 5, 2018

Thanks to former teacher Katie Blomquist and her foundation Going Places, 1,000 kids and counting in the Charleston, South Carolina area, get joy in the form of a bike. Ninety percent of the families in Title 1 schools there live at or below the poverty line and can’t afford this childhood pleasure.

 “A child doesn’t choose their walk of life, parents or situations. Yet, if there is a little bit of joy, I believe it can change the outcome of a person’s life.”  Katie Blomquist

When I read about Katie’s inspiring efforts, I thought of my own adventures on a bike as a kid. We all had so many exciting places to go. Katie is determined that her Going Places Foundation will be an investment for improving lives of a future generation.

I spoke by phone with Katie so I could find out more about her and her ingenious idea based on joy and bikes… [Read more…]

TWE RADIO: Ben’s Bells Founder Jeannette Maré Changes the World with Kindness and a Wind Chime

Jeannette Maré, Founder of Ben’s Bells.

Ben’s Bells, changing the world with kindness and a wind chime

Jeannette Maré, Founder of Ben’s Bells.

Jeannette Maré, founder Ben's Bells, Tuscon/Photo: Courtesy Jeannette Maré | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Station

Jeannette Maré, founder of Ben’s Bells

By Stacey Gualandi/May 17, 2018

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as Stacey Gualandi catches up with Jeannette Maré, the founder of the Ben’s Bells Project in Tucson, Arizona.

In 2002, Jeannette’s Ben died suddenly before his third birthday. As a way to deal with her devastating grief, this teacher-by-trade began making clay wind chimes that contained bells and tiny messages of kindness. [Read more…]

TWE RADIO: Directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen On Their Groundbreaking Movie “RBG”

Betsy West and Julie Cohen, Directors of RBG/Photo: Myles Pettengill, Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen/Photo: Myles Pettengill, Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

By Stacey Gualandi/May 10, 2018

Don’t miss A BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio  with Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the award-winning documentary filmmakers behind the Sundance Film Festival favorite “RBG.”

RBG Poster/Courtesy magnolia Pictures“RBG” stars U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 85-year-old warrior of women’s rights, feminist icon and pop culture phenomenon now known affectionately as the “Notorious RBG.” 

Three years ago, West and Cohen decided to join forces –  along with a talented team of creative females – to bring Justice Ginsburg to the big screen.

Having each interviewed Justice Ginsburg for separate projects years ago, they believed that RBG was having her moment in 2015 and wanted to capture her rising popularity, especially with millennials.

Little did they know that while filming, this diminutive Bronx-born, opera-loving jurist with the big dissents, would become a symbol of gender equality rights.

“RBG” Trailer/Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

West and Cohen are successful journalists, network news producers and documentary filmmakers in their own right. And as a news junkie myself, I was already a big fan of their work at ABC, CBS and NBC, and documentaries like Makers and The Sturgeon Queens, so I was thrilled to talk with them for the first time.

Betsy West | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio ShowBetsy West
Julie CohenJulie Cohen
Stacey GualandiStacey Gualandi

Both women share their journey documenting Justice Ginsburg’s groundbreaking legal rulings; her 56-year marriage; her dream of nine female Supreme Court justices (“Justice Ginsburg is highly optimistic…”); and her first reaction to Kate McKinnon’s Saturday Night Live RBG impersonation. Her exercise routine is remarkable, some 20 push-ups at a time and that’s just for openers.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg exercising from RBG the movie/Photo: Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s workout routine from “RBG”/Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

“RBG” is a love story, a her-story lesson, and, after seeing it three times, I believe it’s the only superhero movie that really matters at the summer box-office. Oh, and P.S., I predict one man will get involved with this film. His name is Oscar.

“RBG” is in theaters across the country now. To find out where, go to www.rbgmovie.com.

Supreme Court Justices 1993/Photo: Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Supreme Court Justices 1993/Courtesy Magnolia Pictures


Betsy West
Julie Cohen
Stacey Gualandi

TWE RADIO: Author Laurie Burrows Grad On Grief, Widowhood and Recovering from Loss

Author Laurie Burrows Grad On Grief, Widowhood and Recovering from Tragic Loss

The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now — How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived

Author Laurie Burrows Grad On Grief, Widowhood and Recovering from Tragic Loss, talks to Stacey Gualandi about her new book “The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now — How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived”

Laurie Burrows Grad author and husband Peter/Photo: Courtesy Laurie Burrows Grad

Laurie Burrows Grad and Peter Grad at Night at Sardi’s fundraiser, 2005/Photo: Alex Berliner©Berliner Studio/BEImages

By Stacey Gualandi/May 2, 2018

We have a  BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio that you will not want to miss!

The Joke's Over, You Can Come Back Now: By Laurie Burrows GradFood writer and cookbook author Laurie Burrows Grad has written an emotional memoir, The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now — How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived,and candidly shares her heartbreaking journey from “normal” to “acceptably different” with honesty and her well-known sense of humor in tact.

Burrows Grad and Peter, her husband of 47 years, shared a tremendous bond; theirs was a true love story. “We called each other five times a day!” When Peter died suddenly in 2015, Burrows Grad was thrust into widowhood, the life she knew forever altered.

My parents were also soulmates who were married 47 years when my father died over 8 years ago. I wanted to read this book in order to better understand not only how Burrows Grad coped in the wake of her tragic loss, but also to help my mother accept the grief she still feels.

Inspired and encouraged to journal by Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg, who also lost her husband David unexpectedly, Burrows Grad wrote a blog for Huffington Post titled Demoted to Lunch in reference to a shift in her social status as a widow.

Laurie Burrows Grad and husband Peter, Wedding Day/Photo: Courtesy Laurie Burrows Grad

Laurie and Peter on their wedding day/1968

The post went viral, which led to three years full of articles (earning her the new moniker “Grief Blogger”) and ultimately this book.

Burrows Grad said writing about the taboo topic of grief gave her an unexpected mission:

“Creating meaning from loss is my resurrection from the debris of my heartache.”

With The Joke’s Over… she provides the ultimate grief toolbox of tips, the “3 H’s: Honesty, Humor — and Chutzpah,” and even the daunting challenge of dating (as Laurie calls it, “dumpster diving!”)

And while she will never lose the connection to her dear husband, Burrows Grad devotes a chapter to You Know You’re Getting Better When

This is one of the definitive self-help guides on grief as “the great equalizer” for widows of any age and will be a great aid for anyone suffering a difficult loss.

Laurie’s Website

Twitter: LaurieGrad

Our House Grief Support Center


TWE RADIO: Mary Latham Turned Tragedy into a 50-State Trek to Find “More Good” Stories

Mary Latham is on the trip-of-a-lifetime as she travels to 50 states in America to find as many stories of human kindness that she can.

Road-tripper, photographer and future author Mary Latham!

Mary Latham, adventurer and founder "More Good" movement/Photo provided by Mary Latham

Mary Latham, founder of the “More Good” movement

By Stacey Gualandi/April 11, 2018
Photos Courtesy Mary Latham (@MaryLath)

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as I track down road-tripper, photographer and future author Mary Latham!

Mary Latham is on the trip-of-a-lifetime as she travels to 50 states in America to find as many stories of human kindness that she can. I first heard about Mary’s mission after a Women’s Eye follower read about her in a local newspaper. Mary was in Pleasanton, CA, at the time – just one of many stops on a 19,000 mile journey that began in October 2016.

Mary Latham and mom Pat/Photo provided by Mary Latham

Mary and Pat, her mom

As someone who feels overwhelmed by all the negative news on a daily basis, I was fascinated to hear just how Mary tackled this challenge, and wondered, could she actually find enough positive stories of people paying it forward?

Listen up and you’ll hear about her remarkable trip and how she depends on the kindness of strangers.

Mary Latham, founder "More Good" movement/Photo: Selfie

Mary talks to Stacey from CA.

The idea was borne in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Mary was devastated by the horrible news, but it was her mother, Pat, who offered the perfect advice on coping: “There is always more good news out there; you just have to look for it.” Shortly after, her mother lost her battle with cancer.

That’s when Mary decided to create the “More Good” road trip to compile stories into a book that will be donated to hospital waiting rooms for people needing hope. And mostly, to honor her mother.

Now with 25 states to go, Mary continues driving in her mom’s old blue Subaru, staying with total strangers, and meeting fascinating people with touching tales to tell.

Mary shares what motivates her, why this undertaking is a difficult challenge, and how she learned “the most important work that we do is the work we do with our heart.”

To join her “More Good” movement, be a host, submit a story of human kindness or to find out where Mary is “on the map”, go to her moregood. today website!

Just a reminder that April 15 is Good Deeds Day! Their website indicates that 93 countries worldwide have taken part in it. Now that’s more good news!

Mary Latham and the men that fixed her car in California/Photo provided by Mary Latham

Mary with the men who repaired her car for free in CA


TWE Radio: Foreign Correspondent Atia Abawi Humanizes Global Refugee Crisis in New Novel

Atia Abawi, journalist, author/Photo Provided by Atia Abawi | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Foreign correspondent Atia Abawi in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
covering a burn of confiscated drugs

Stacey Gualandi/March 14, 2018

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as I chat with author and foreign network news correspondent Atia Abawi about her just released second Young Adult novel,  A Land of Permanent Goodbyes.

A mutual photojournalist friend introduced me to Atia. After reading her book I had quite an emotional reaction to the refugee experiences she describes. I wanted to talk with her to get a better understanding of a crisis that cannot be ignored.

Author Atia Abawi's bok, Land of Permanent Goodbyes provided by Atia to TWE | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio ShowThis award-winning journalist is based in the Middle East and researched the global refugee crisis extensively to tell a timely story of one teenage boy and his family’s fight for survival in war-torn Syria.

It is a gut-wrenching tale that doesn’t shy away from the unspeakable violence, the “hunters” and the never-ending search for safety.

For Abawi, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes hits very close to home as she was born a refugee to Afghan parents in West Germany and raised in the U.S.

Her family’s decision to flee war in Afghanistan helped her to understand the plight of families who must try to outlive a tremendous loss.

With this book, Abawi hopes to create empathy and raise awareness of a crisis that is happening in real time. Abawi says many tears were shed writing this story, but she says it was a story that needed to be shared. Take a listen to her story!

To find out more about Atia: www.atiaabawi.com.

Atia Abawi, foreign correspondent, in Afghanistan/Photo provided by Atia Abawi | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Atia traveling to a story with NATO forces in Afghanistan

Listen to more TWE Interviews from The Women’s Eye Radio Show on iTunes.



TWE RADIO: Inspirational Speaker Holly Dowling on Finding Clarity, Grace and Courage

Holly Dowling, author and inspirational speaker/Photo Courtesy Holly Dowling | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Holly Dowling

By Stacey Gualandi/January 23,2018

A BRAND NEW interview with Holly Dowling, the author of Hollyisms. Let Your Light Shine! 50 Inspirations in 140 Characters or Less, on The Women’s Eye Radio with host Stacey Gualandi. This is the “Hollyism” that really spoke to me: “Life is not about work; rather your work should bring you life and brighten your life.”

Holly Dowling, inspirational speaker, author of Hollyisms, Let Your Light Shine | The Women's Eye Magazine & Radio ShowThis one-time cruise director is now an award-winning corporate keynote speaker and inspirational thought leader. (We’d like to add the Princess of Positivity!)

Through her motivational talks, Holly truly inspires and is “a walking testimony that it’s never too late to live your dreams and goals.”

During this interview, you will learn about Holly’s own personal challenges and breakthroughs (she says you can “be bitter or better”); her mantras for success (“Tell me no, watch me go!”); her three pillars of power; and why you should get rid of those New Year’s Resolutions!

To learn more, check out hollydowling.com. If Holly has her way, you’ll be chanting, “Wow is me, not whoa is me” in no time!

Listen to more TWE Interviews on: 

The Women’s Eye Radio on iTunes.


TWE STORY OF THE WEEK: 2017 Books Not To Miss

Lisa See, NY Times Bestselling Author, and Pamela Burke, founder The Women's Eye | 2017 Books Not To Miss

Lisa See and TWE ‘s  Pam Burke at Poisoned Pen Bookstore


By Pamela Burke/December 22, 2017

It’s been a wonderful year for us to find inspiring authors to post on our website. Since the year is ending, we thought it appropriate to remember these Top Five 2017 Books on TWE that have made their mark here. We hope you pick them up or order online whenever you get the opportunity. You will not be disappointed.

1. Lisa See and The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane–Be transported to the remote mountains of China by this #1 New York Times bestselling author. Lisa writes a moving story about tradition, tea farming and the enduring connection between mothers and daughters.

We were fortunate enough to meet up with Lisa when she spoke at The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Phoenix.

Documentary Photographer Paola Gianturco with Co-Author and granddaughter, Alex Sangster with their book, Wonder Girls: Changing Our World | 2017 Books Not To Miss

Documentary photographer, Paola Gianturco, with co-author and granddaughter, Alex Sangster with their book, “Wonder Girls: Changing Our World”

2.  Paula Gianturco and Wonder Girls–Girls are banding together all over the world, finding strength in numbers and succeeding. Wonder Girls: Changing Our World is the first book to document the work of groups of activist girls 10-18. Documentary photographer Paula and her 11-year-old granddaughter Alex Sangster write about 15 groups of girls in 13 countries and their remarkable accomplishments.

Our radio host Stacey Gualandi was the first to interview Paola about the book this summer on this TWE podcast.

Geek Girl Rising authors Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens | 2017 Books Not To Miss

Authors of Geek Girl Rising Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens

3. Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens and their Geek Girl Rising–Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech–Patricia Caso interviewed Heather and Samantha about the changes in the tech world with the rising numbers of women who are pursuing their dreams–building cutting edge tech startups, investing in each other’s ventures and rallying the next generation of girls to get involved.

Theresa McKeown/Stacey Gualandi/Photo Provided by Stacey Gualandi | 2017 Books Not To Miss

Our contributor and radio host Stacey Gualandi with Theresa McKeown

4. Theresa McKeown and The ABC’s of Everything–Our colleague Theresa and her sisters created a company to publish creative books for children of all ages. Her first book, The ABC’s of Being Me, is part journal, part scrapbook and part photo album. Each book is a personal time capsule to be opened, remembered and cherished over the course of a lifetime.

If you are looking for a books that explore the world kids live in and that will exhance their potential, please check these out. Her second has been published, How to Eat Your ABC’s and they plan on writing more! It’s a change of career for Theresa and she loves it!

Catherine Anaya and Pamela Burke holding 20 WOMEN CHANGEMAKERS | 2017 Books Not To Miss

TWE Radio host Catherine Anaya and Pam

5. Pamela Burke and Patricia Caso, co-editors of 20 Women Changemakers–Taking Action Around the World–We are excited that we were able to publish our first book this year, an anthology that includes twenty of the inspiring women we have included on our website, radio show and podcasts over the last 5 years.

It’s a labor of love and one we hope you all get to read. These are women we can all learn from with lots of advice as to how we can all get involved and make the world a more positive place.

As Jenny Bowen, the founder of OneSky (formerly Half the Sky), whom we feature says, “It doesn’t matter if it’s Chinese orphans or what it is. If you see something wrong in the world that needs fixing, you can do something.”

There are many more fascinating books and authors we could list here but wanted to give you a taste of those we were able to feature this year. We can’t wait to start 2018 and see what wonders unfold as we keep up with our changemakers and their continuing accomplishments!

Thanks for reading our site and listening to our show…we appreciate your interest and hope you continue to follow our EYE.