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Woodstock native to present motivational campaign

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Gretchen Sortzi

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

Born and raised in Woodstock, Gretchen Sortzi is now a motivational speaker who has traveled the country. On Sunday, she is bringing her presentation "home" for the first time.

The Front Royal Church of the Brethren will host Sortzi as she presents her campaign, "Why. Wait. Awareness is Everything," at 4 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $5 per person, and those interested can call ahead to register, or show up the day of the event.

Sortzi, a 1996 graduate of Central High School, said her presentation focuses on immediate change in one's mind, body and soul. She said she hopes to provide simple steps to improving life, based on her own personal experiences.

"We are so caught up in the negative," she said. "But I hope to offer techniques that will get someone out of the darkness and into the light."

The speaker has had her fair share of "dark times," as she was severely anorexic for some time. After recovering, she then became a compulsive eater and gained 100 pounds.

"When I lost the weight, I went back to being anorexic," she said. "I've found that no matter the vice, addiction is addiction...we abuse ourselves."

Now, Sortzi owns several Curves franchises and has been in the health and wellness profession for 12 years. She was a featured presenter on TedX Enola, a nationally recognized Ted event, and has two books that should be on the shelves this Christmas.

"My talk isn't just about food," she said. "I talk about thoughts, feelings and actions, and how they all work together to bring you to a better attitude."

Sortzi said a defining moment in her life came with the birth of her daughter.

"I realized that it wasn't just about me anymore, and I couldn't throw it all away," she said. "She is my light, and she doesn't ever have to see the darkness that I went through."

Sortzi said she feels that if audience members are open to it, they can leave her presentation a changed person. If anything, she said participants will have "one super-charged good time." Her presentation will go a little over an hour, but Sortzi said if the audience is excited then it could last longer. She will also stick around for light refreshments and questions.

One thing that she is most looking forward to is speaking in front of her family members.

"Seeing faces that you've known your whole life out the audience...I have a buzz about that already," she said. Sortzi suggested that the talk is more appropriate for individuals over the age of 14, and "kids might not enjoy it as much."

"We are the light, we are vulnerable, we should be happy," she said. "Once we stop searching and embrace what's within, good things and people come along and experiences are brighter. And it can start right now."

To register for the event, call the church at 540-635-2378. For more information on Sortzi and her campaign, go to www.whywaitcampign.com.

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