Loveless: Magic in finding your personal strength

  • Published
  • By Ryan Larsen
  • Hilltop Times correspondent
It's Federal Women's History month and at a luncheon held to kick off the month, Kathy Loveless entertained and inspired guests at Club Hill on March 9.

Tim Irwin of the Hill Supply Chain Management Squadron (SCMS) attended the luncheon with his daughter Amber Irwin, also of Hill. He said, "I love to go to functions like this because (women) do so much around the base and elsewhere." Irwin is the father of four daughters and has always wanted them to have the same opportunities he has had and said that's why he attends and supports functions and programs such as this.

Guests were treated to a bit of women's history by several Federal Women's Program participants during the lunch.

Keynote speaker Kathy Loveless, started off her collegiate and professional career by earning a spot in the Miss America Pageant as Miss Utah in 1968. According to Loveless the Miss America Pageant is one of the largest providers of scholarships to young women in the world. Since then Loveless has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Science in Public Relations, and is currently completing doctorate work on quantitative data analysis.

Loveless began by performing a magic trick involving three cups and water. The water she poured did not end up where it had seemed to be going. She indicated the lesson was that life is unexpected and that no matter how much you plan and make sense of things, it can still throw you a curveball.

As a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Loveless has achieved the rank of "Wizard." Her own unexpected curveball she told the audience was that she had just recently had a lung removed due to cancer.

Her speech at Club Hill was among her first since regaining some of her strength as well as her voice. She then gave her presentation she entitled "The Magic in Finding Your Personal Strength."

After talking about her battle with cancer, she brought up her first major point in finding personal strength, "When times are tough, take action." She couldn't let cancer get her down and she took action and said she is going to fight it every second of the way.

She then brought up the Sept. 11 attacks and said that on that day no one wanted to do anything. Everyone was glued to their TVs and in shock. Something struck her that day and it came from the Oprah Winfrey show in which Dr. Phil McGraw was a guest. He offered advice to America that Loveless took to heart. That is, we must act and do something and go on with our lives. It doesn't matter what it is, get up and do something, take action.

The next lesson she learned came from participating in the Miss America Pageant. She said the pageant director did not seem to like her for some reason and Loveless knew at the time that she was going to have deal with it. "Not everyone is going to like you. That's OK," Loveless said. There is no way you can please everyone and to not let that bother you.

She explained that she had always dreamed of teaching a course at the University of Utah on quantitative data analysis, but loved her day job also. Then something happened -- she received a call from the U of U Masters of Public Administration and she was asked to do just that. Her third lesson was: "Opportunities abound in America -- Dare to Dream." She said she realized that she had been doing that her whole life, but most importantly she didn't let the little devil on her shoulder tell her she couldn't do it.

Loveless wrapped up her speech with a second magic trick and ended by saying, "There truly is magic in the world. I want you to know that there is magic and it is in you."

Afterward Loveless greeted people and was asked what she thought about the importance of being positive.

"It is critical to be positive, some people have to work at it and it is worth working at. Having a positive attitude, visualizing the positive things, expecting positive things all brings positive things to you. It takes entirely too much energy to be negative."