Tag Archives: lynchburg

Meet Mariah Clark

mariahMariah Amine Clark, a graduate of the Apparel Department at Virginia Tech is a designer extraordinaire. She founded Mariah Amine Couture in 2007 and three years later opened a retail boutique that offers classes and instruction for budding knitters and seamstresses. 

Nominated by Jenny Carter

Join us each weekday during the month of October as we recognize extraordinary women in our area! Nominate someone you know by emailing us: bella@beckmediagroup.com.

Local Women Making A Difference

harvesterteamgirlsThe Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount is more than just a great place to enjoy a concert with your family. It is the result of a dream—shared by many people in Franklin County—to unite a community in support of great music. Each individual contributing to this venue is passionate about its success. Assistant General Manager, Sheila Silverstein, has been instrumental in bringing on new volunteers to assist with operations essential to each performance.

“You can’t find better people than our volunteers. They are my heart,” says Silverstein. “This is a group of people who have passion for their purpose. They make a great team, and they give 110 percent at every show.”

Since its opening in April, more volunteers (both men and women) have joined the initial group. Many of them, like Juanita Dudley, view one another as family. “I am a retired school teacher,” she adds, “and this is my way of giving back to the community. I have met so many great people here.”

Other volunteers, like Nancy Bell, report to their shifts following their full time jobs. Bell, Director of the United Way in Franklin County, has a 30 minute drive at the conclusion of her shift. However, the time spent travelling and volunteering is a sacrifice she is willing to make. She explains, “I began volunteering at the Harvester because I knew that, for it to succeed, those of us who love music would have to be committed to it.”

Donna Winge, volunteer coordinator for the Harvester, agrees, “My husband and I began volunteering at the second show. We knew the importance of making the Harvester a success because of the economic potential it has for the entire county.”

Franklin County residents are not the only ones interested in the variety of entertainment offered at this unique venue. People from surrounding counties and states attend each show, drawn to the spectacular lineup and welcoming atmosphere. The volunteers and staff realize that hospitality is important to making the experience a memorable one for patrons.

“We have a great time here on every shift,” says volunteer, Allison Nunley, “and I love seeing all of the guests enjoy it as much as we do.”

Visit www.harvester-music.com for more information on the talented musicians scheduled to perform this month. Not only will you enjoy a great show, you may find a new favorite spot to visit with your friends and family.

Meet Suzanne Gandy

suzanne gandySuzanne Gandy is the Development Director for the local Salvation Army. She is very high energy, enthusiastic, caring, and most of all FUN. Her responsibility list is long as are the hours she spends working to make it all happen. Her resources are few but she finds a way to maximize them. She encourages others to help and works with many corporations for donations and volunteers for all of the Salvation Army events.

Nominated by Connie Stanley

Join us each weekday during the month of October as we recognize extraordinary women in our area! Nominate someone you know by emailing us: bella@beckmediagroup.com.

Fighting Breast Cancer

Think of eight women you know and love. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with eight. Now, think of women who are simply friends and acquaintances. Women who may have families, children, and other people who love them. Did your list get longer? Ours did.

Here’s a sobering thought to accompany that list: about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Those who have regular exams will have a better chance of catching it early and beating it, but until a cure is found, we will continue to lose mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends to the disease.

By raising awareness and working towards a cure together, we can be apart in changing these sobering statistics. October is the month set aside for breast cancer awareness, but it is something we should be thinking about year round. Too many women (and men), of all ages, have lost their battle with breast cancer in our area and worldwide.

In their quest to help find a cure, the Blue Ridge affiliate of Susan G. Komen has raised more than 1.5 million dollars for local and national breast cancer programs and research.

Lisa-and-MJ1Their October ribbon report spotlight features Lisa and her dog, MJ. Lisa and MJ were both diagnosed with cancer in the late months of 2013. Lisa explains when she feels weak she just looks to MJ for motivation, “I have learned so much from MJ. Sometimes I think about my cancer and how I might die. Then, I watch MJ. She wakes up everyday happy. Having cancer does not depress her or ruin her days. So, my advice is to live everyday like MJ!”

Lisa is one of many people living with breast cancer, and every penny donated, every hour volunteered, every mile walked is one step closer to finding a cure. That means every person giving whatever they can is contributing to a day when Lisa does not have to think about her cancer and the chance that she could lose her fight. They are helping her work towards happiness and hope– and another day to wake up happy, like MJ.

If you or someone you love are facing a similar battle and have questions or concerns, you are encouraged to call 1877-GO-KOMEN, a free breast cancer hotline offering professional support. For those wishing to donate their time or money to finding a cure, please visit www.komen.org.

Written by Kristi Hall

Meet Angela Gillespie

Angela GillespieAngela Gillespie’s life forever changed at age 49.  While mowing the lawn, she began to sweat profusely and could not breathe.  It passed, but the next morning, she collapsed on the sidewalk.  She managed to crawl and call 9-1-1.  An echocardiogram revealed a 5.5cm aneurysm and a severely leaking bicuspid aortic valve.  Two months later, she was on the operating table and she is now the proud owner of a stainless steel valve.  Angela is an American Heart Association Go Red Woman and she shares her story with other women to help them fight and prevent heart disease.

Nominated by Sarah Fedele

 Join us each weekday during the month of October as we recognize extraordinary women in our area! Nominate someone you know by emailing us: bella@beckmediagroup.com.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. An issue that impacts millions of people around the world, most domestic violence incidents are never reported. It’s time to change that.

The Aspire News App is a way for victims to speak out. The app is sponsored by the Robin McGraw Foundation and offers several features to help those dealing with domestic violence.

Aspire is a free application that disguises itself as a source for top news stories, sports and entertainment updates. By clicking on the ‘HELP’ feature, users can take advantage of the safety applications. The app is designed to appear like any other smart phone app, allowing it to be downloaded and used in secret.

One of the features of the app is a system where you are able to create pre-written text or voice messages to be sent to designated numbers (911 or other contacts in your phone). The app’s “go button” starts recording to capture the details of the domestic violence encounter, so you have proof of the attack.

aspireThe app is not designed to be a replacement for emergency services; you should always call 911 in situations where you feel like you may be at risk.

Aspire News app has had more than 127,000 downloads and has been recognized as one of the most beneficial apps in 2014 to fight the end to domestic violence.

You can download the app for free in the ITunes store and at www.whengeorgiasmiled.org

 

Written by Kristi Hall

Meet Latoya Garrison

latoyaLatoya Garrison is an amazing young woman.  She’s independent, mature and respected by her colleagues. Additionally, she is a generous philanthropist, freely giving of her time to help young people and the unemployed  find meaningful work.

Nominated by Jenny Carter

Join us each weekday during the month of October as we recognize extraordinary women in our area! Nominate someone you know by emailing us: bella@beckmediagroup.com.

Sweet Tooth for a Cure

Pink_Nonpariels_Web13Satisfy your chocolate cravings and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by purchasing homemade treats from Edward Marc Chocolatier.

The Edward Marc Chocolatier Nonpareils are made with signature Edward Marc Chocolatier chocolate and coated with pink nonpareils in support of breast cancer. When you purchase these one of a kind treats 20% of the sales will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Edward Marc offers several other treats, including personalized chocolate and chocolates just for kids. Go to their website and satisfy your sweet tooth before they are all gone!

 

Written by Kristi Hall