Giving Back

Maret Turns Divorce into 'Brightside Advantages' for Women

Lezlie Maret, founder of non-profit Brightside Advantages, for divorced women Credits: TAP New Providence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The idea is to help divorced women or those going through a divorce transition into the advantages of focusing on a brighter future. That's the goal behind newly formed Brightside Advantages, Inc.

"Brightside Advantages was inspired through my own personal experience, walking through divorce," New Providence resident Lezlie Maret, the founder of the non-profit organization, said. "I've seen amazing people do amazing things for me and out of my gratitude for the kindness of others, and knowing it comes directly from God, I've decided to help other women go through this journey." is exactly what it sounds like it is.

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"It's very self-explanatory," Maret said. "It's helping women look at the bright side of divorce."

Maret is kicking off her new venture with a "Little Black Dress, Wine & Cheese Fundraiser," set for 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 at the Madison Common Clubhouse in Madison. The funds raised will go towards Brightside2016, a motivational conference set for April 8, 2016 at the Madison Hotel in Morristown.

"It's not a support group or a bunch of whiners sitting around complaining about their ex's or lamenting their life," Maret said. "The focus is about looking forward to opportunities in the future. There is nothing like it in the country, so there is an excitement about this being the first.

"Attending support groups can be very, very depressing. People are stuck and they don't move forward; stuck in the past and stuck in the present. You've got to look toward the future. I think there is a need for it. "

Maret got the idea for a women's motivational conference in June and has organized a "full day of encouragement" for the April 8 date.

Maret, who has a masters in psychology from NYU, will be the motivational speaker and Jamie Longo will be the featured musician. Maret is in the process of lining up a comedian for the lunch break.

The conference will start at 8 a.m. and run through 4:30 p.m. with workshops offered on financial planning; marriage and family law; healthcare planning; career planning; stress management; mortgage planning; real estate planning; a psychologist; spiritual dimensions of divorce; dating; theological questions and child psychology.

Maret also is planning to provide complete makeovers for some of the attendees and a fashion show.

"I call it refresh and refuel," Maret said. "It's not like we're dying and the world has come to a screeching halt. It's a huge transition, so what are we going to do about it? Women need to learn how to navigate the maze of divorce. I have all these workshop presenters, who are the top people in the area. It's a super power day."

Tickets to the April 8 conference can be obtained at

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