United Way of Williamson will host Patricia Hart Society HeART to Heart luncheon on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at Embassy Suites Cool Springs in Franklin, and tickets are $50 each. The event opens with a silent auction at 11 a.m. followed by the luncheon at 12:10 p.m. Registration deadline for the event is Friday, January 30th, 2015. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Debby Rainey at 615-771-2312 or online www.uwcc.org
HeART to Heart honors the 2015 Women of Inspiration, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. Three finalists were chosen from nominees who used a UWWC funded program to make positive changes in her life. The 2015 Woman of Inspiration will be announced at the event.
Funds raised by the event go directly to United Way of Williamson County’s (UWWC) funded programs. The Patricia Hart Society was founded by local women who wanted to use their strengths, experiences and resources to engage women in improving lives. Society member Patricia Hart lent her name to the organization because she believes that “extraordinary things happen when women come together.”
Co-chairs of the 2015 HeART to Heart luncheon are Patricia Hart Society members April Johnston and Betsy Taubman. Special thanks to event sponsors Fifth Third Bank; Ford Motor Credit Company; Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN; James Nichols, Financial Advisor Cumberland River Group – Morgan Stanley; Fox Run Studios; Community Health Systems; LBMC Employment Partners; Perdue Foods; Williamson Medical Center; Lattimore Black Morgan and Cain; LBMC Investment Advisors. In-kind sponsors include Bufford Lewis Company, Journal Communications, StrategyCorps, Stuffing Stuff Fulfillment, and Synergy Bank.
Nominees for 2015 Woman of Inspiration Awards Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank:
Laura Tocco gave birth to her son Kellan prematurely at 27 weeks and 2 lbs. 11 oz. He had respiratory problems and inadequate nutrition, requiring the use of a feeding tube. Shortly afterward, Laura was referred to Nurses for Newborns to provide home visits to assess Kellen’s growth and development, provide education and help Laura find needed resources. Laura is a full-time student, pursuing a degree in respiratory therapy. In February 2014, when Kellen was just 6 months old, Laura learned that she had cancer and she began a series of 12 chemotherapy treatments. During this time she continued to care for Kellan and attend classes, despite nausea and fatigue. Her Nurses for Newborns nurse sought additional resources, reaching out to Patricia Hart Society. Members of that group provided nutritious prepared meals for their family. As of September 2014, Kellen, 18 months, is no longer using a feeding tube and weighs more than 21 lbs. Laura has completed her chemo treatments and is continuing her education with a 3.6 GPA.
Destiny Moore came to the Fairview Boys & Girls Club at 8 years old, on the recommendation of a family friend as Destiny was weathering the fall-out from her mother’s divorce and from learning traumatic details of her own birth and biological father. Her conception was the result of a rape, and the only father she had ever known, soon to be divorced from her mother, was not her biological father. Destiny was confused, hurt and fearful, but she found companionship and support at the Boys & Girls Club. She is now a sophomore at Fairview High School. Despite the challenges she has faced, she has persevered, and she is a wonderful role model for her peers. She was recently elected president of the Boys & Girls Club’s Keystone Club and she serves as a mentor for the SMART Girls program. Destiny also serves in the National Beta Club, Best Buddies and STARS programs. She is a diligent student, and she spends her summers volunteering. Destiny represents these groups with integrity, enthusiasm and pride.
Mattie Keene found the Refuge Center for Counseling as she was seeking freedom from the bondage of addiction to prescription drugs. She started counseling at Refuge straight out of inpatient treatment, and she says she received life-saving support from Refuge’s psychiatric nurse practitioner and counselors. Since then, shame, condemnation, anger and resentment have given way to peace, hope and life. Mattie says that when she came to refuge, she was “completely broken, barely functional.” Today, she says, “I am enough.” Mattie has been sober for the past 6 years and has been able to forgive both herself and those who deeply wounded her. Her commitment to recovery is remarkable, and her counselor says she has walked this road with honesty, intentionality and great courage. As her journey continues, she remains dedicated to living differently on this side of addiction. Her courage and persistence inspire others.