Group forms for women to share stories

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Every woman has a story.

But sometimes it's hard to find a place to share it.

A new group formed by two women, Blue Wipperfurth and Sue Alexander, aims to change that.

"I just felt like the Steamboat community lacks in opportunities to meet new people and get out of your little circle of friends," Wipperfurth said. "Everyone's really friendly, but hardly anyone wants to go to that next level."

With that gut feeling, Wipperfurth and Alexander started "The Well," a nonprofit, Christian organization with a goal of helping women in Steamboat Springs and nearby communities build relationships and pursue spirituality. The group's name refers to a time in ancient cultures when women met and talked at the nearby water well.

It is not a Bible study or a church group, but instead is a way for women to meet, share their life stories, learn from each other and grow.

"When you share your story, your story makes a path into someone else's heart," Alexander said.

In the months since the group was formed, the interest has been overwhelming.

"We discovered that women love to share their lives," Wipperfurth said. "People are just hungry to share."

The group, which has met once a month since the summer, started with eight women having dinner together. The group recently has attracted more than 50.

Activities have included a bonfire at a ranch and a night at the Health and Recreation Association. There also was a Halloween get-together in which everyone made an example of the sort of "mask" that they hide behind in their everyday lives.

On Dec. 8, the group will host a holiday celebration, featuring an elegant dinner, a talk by former resident Jodie Spradlin and live music from Minnesota-based performer Joe Rogness. There also will be door prizes and a surprise guest appearance.

The monthly events are free and are organized by a different group of eight to 10 group members. Mystery surrounds all the events, for which minimal details are released, Wipperfurth said.

"The whole purpose is to get people out of their comfort zone, climb out of their box and trust people," she said.

The Well's Holiday Celebration is at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel's ballroom. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased through Friday at Yampa Blue or by calling Wipperfurth at 846-4780. To subscribe to the monthly newsletter, go to www.thewellsteamboat.com.

Little Dippers, which is associated with The Well but is for mothers of young children, meets at 11 a.m. each Tuesday and Thursday in the Euzoa Bible Church preschool room. For information, call Tara Chavarria at 870-8543.

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