Four vie for Woman of the Year
Published 11:11 am Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Four Decatur County women — Bridget Collier, Beverly Davis, Missy Rollins and Sherry Weaver — have been nominated for the Pilot Club’s annual Decatur County Woman of the Year. The winner will be announced at the Chamber of Commerce annual dinner meeting, on Jan. 24.
Bridget Collier was nominated by last year’s winner, Marjorie Mayfield, who in her nomination letter noted Collier’s endless energy and her smile for everyone.
“She is compassionate, caring, bouncy and friendly,” Mayfield said. “Even though she was not born in the South, she has acquired a true Southern spirit that is sincere. She truly believes in making this community a better place to live, work and play.
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“As a member of many civic and social organizations, Bridget quickly becomes involved in community projects, no matter what the cause. She is the incoming president of the Bainbridge Rotary Club, serves on the planning committee for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, is a mentor with the One on One Mentoring program in our school system, serves on the membership committee of the chamber of commerce and is instrumental in coordinating the annual Chamberfest, an event to show appreciation for chamber members.
“There are many other causes she is involved in. She has co-created and hosted a quarterly event to generate funds and needed items to benefit a different not-for-profit organization at each event.
“Bridget’s enthusiasm is infectious and she has no problem recruiting volunteers to support anything she is involved in.
“Bridget has not lived in this community as long as most, but she has been involved in this community for years. Her profession brought her to Bainbridge and she commuted to our community every day, sometimes twice or more each day. She chose not to just come here and work, but to pour her energy and spare time into making Bainbridge and Decatur County a great community. She finally moved to Bainbridge and continued her transformation into a true Southern girl.
“Bridget has a hard time telling people no. She frets over whether an event is going to raise enough money, has she given her all to her commitments, and why aren’t there more hours in a day to volunteer.
“Bridget truly should be recognized for this honor because she is selfless when it comes to offering her time and resources.”
Beverly J. Davis was nominated by Darius D. Peterson, Bainbridge High School junior class president.
In his nomination letter, Peterson says, “I would like to submit Evangelist Beverly Davis. Evangelist Davis has truly enhanced the life of many in Decatur County. She is a devout Christian woman who is serious about her labor in ministering to the community. Evangelist Davis has worked for 17 years with the Friendship House of Jesus until her retirement earlier this year.
“She serves as a mentor to teenage girls and boys in the Decatur County area and abroad. She also serves the people held captive by the correctional facilities in Decatur County. She and her husband travel at least twice a month to go and feed the prisoners the word of God. She also helps to counsel women in the correctional facility.
“She is an advocate for child welfare and the well-being of inner-city children.
“In my opinion this woman is a phenomenal woman who should be recognized in the community. This award would be most fitting for a woman who loves God and people.”
Missy Rollins received nominations from four individuals: Ann Brannen, Marjean Boyd, Jane Forsyth and Nancy Grimsley. A synopsis of the letters speaks to her ministration to the those in need, especially homeless women and their children.
Rollins, a licensed pharmacist, gave up her profession to work with those less fortunate. In 2012 she assumed the position of CEO of Friendship House of Jesus, Inc., which offers afterschool enrichment programs to youth. This is a position she works at daily without remuneration.
“Missy has a servant’s heart,” Boyd said. “She has dedicated untold hours to ministering to the homeless because she recognizes that homelessness doesn’t affect a single individual. It affects families and children as well. If she cannot obtain lodging for them locally, she takes the women and their children to homeless shelters in other towns. Once they find a place to call home, she marshals her resources to help them obtain the necessities for living. She continues to mentor them and help them develop a support system of individuals who act as a safety net.”
She has implemented a fundraising campaign to secure the financial stability of Friendship House, and immediately undertook the project of establishing a local shelter for homeless women and their children. After receiving a donated house, she oversaw the complete renovation and furnishing of the home. Set to open in March, it will be known as Still Waters.
Forsyth summed it up saying, “We are nominating Missy Rollins for Woman of the Year because of her humanitarian efforts to the less fortunate in Bainbridge. Missy may be seen any day of the week ministering to the less fortunate by presenting Jesus Christ to them, as well as providing transportation and life’s necessities for them.”
Sherry Weaver was nominated by Patricia Anderson, a paraprofessional at Hutto Middle School, and the organizer of Someone Cares Food Bank.
“I first met Sherry Weaver while her daughter Zoey was a middle school student at Hutto,” Anderson said. “I always knew there was something very special about Sherry, especially the way she was so very attentive to her daughter.
“Sherry started the Decatur County Community Cares Organization that gets businesses and other organizations to donate food, clothing, medical supplies, etc. so that people in need can get the assistance they need.”
In her letter, Anderson speaks of the help she has received from Weaver’s organization, which donated many cases of canned food to Anderson’s soup kitchen.
“Recently I was fortunate enough to help Sherry wrap around 200 Christmas gifts and she let me deliver these gifts along with food and clothing to several families.
“Sherry works full time at a crop insurance agency. She also has a husband and two children. During these past months, Sherry worked from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. with her organization behind the scenes making connections online with companies that want to donate. Then she worked 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After 5, she is active with her children, but worked till about midnight lining things up for Christmas.
“In my opinion her work and sacrifice each day is the reason she should win the award of Woman of the Year for Decatur County.
“If you speak to Sherry once in person or by phone, you will know how compassionate, loving and giving she is. She does not care about your skin color, how much money you have or where you came from. She is there sent by God to help people in need.
“We talk about Angels among us on earth, well Sherry Weaver is my “Food Angel,” and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate her for sharing her resources with my food bank.
“Now I also have a wonderful friend.”