Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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SpelLife Women’s Wellness Summit

Helping to Grow Local Interest in Prevention and Wellness

Although the visual signs of weight and height that mark a child’s growth are symbolically different from those signaling growth in the people’s movement toward prevention and wellness in Western medicine, there are similarities. Here in Southwest Florida, there is a noticeable increase in the number of prevention and wellness activities that involve public health organizations, as well as individuals. Recently attracting the most media attention is the Blue Zones Project, a community-wide well-being improvement initiative helping individuals to make healthier choices, and Lee Health’s medically based fitness centers and Healthy Life Centers in Estero and Cape Coral that offer a variety of services and education supporting healthy lifestyles, early detection of disease and chronic disease management.

The latest activity organized by private citizens is the SpelLife Women’s Wellness Summit, an annual event that has been connecting people since 2015 with community resources that empower individuals to live a healthier, richer life.

“We’ve had different themes each year. In 2015 it was Food Fitness and Finance, in 2016 we presented Brain Power, in 2017 we focused on Be(you)tiful Inside and Out, and this year, it’s The Power of Food: What’s Your Gut Instinct? Our keynote speaker is Dr. David Perlmutter. Our four breakout sessions include Alternative Therapies: Fact or Myth,” says Jill Rapps, vice president and certified financial advisor for Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc.

Rapps co-founded the summit with her sister, Gaynell Anderson, a doctor of physical therapy, who she also collaborated with to create A Europhic Living Foundation, which handles summit profits that are donated to local charitable organizations

“Our speakers and exhibitors showcase the eight dimensions of wellness—spiritual, physical, environmental, leisure, local, intellectual, financial and emotional—which is the origin of our acronym, SpelLife. One of our volunteers thought of it,” explains Rapps. She notes that the event, which initially attracted 150 attendees and established a local following, was the result of a suggestion for gathering local women, sharing knowledge and presenting fresh, new ideas. The 2017 summit attracted 350 people.

“In 2017, we had attendees from Florida’s east coast, as well as New York. The 100 percent volunteer and nonprofit organization, organized locally by A Europhic Living Foundation and e’Bella Magazine, as well as other sponsors such as Natural Awakenings, is prepared to attract 250 attendees this year,” advises Rapps, who notes that this is the maximum occupancy number for the NHC Telford Center. This year’s profits go to the Senior Friendship Health Center, which provides for the medical and dental needs of underserved seniors.

As a financial advisor, Rapps listens to her client’s concerns regarding the exorbitant cost of health care. “The majority of individuals have no idea what the cost of their health care will be over their lifetime. They are learning that long-term, it is less costly to practice preventive measures, which are what the summit focuses on,” remarks Rapps.

SpelLife Women’s Wellness Summit will be held on Apr. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the NCH Telford Center, located at 350 7th Ave., in Naples. General admission is $65; VIP $100. For more information and tickets, visit or

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