Two to vie for Pilot Club’s Woman of the Year

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Bainbridge Pilot Club has received two nominations for 2018 Woman of the Year.

Dr. Paula H. Chambers was nominated by her neighbor, Lois Jones. Her letter of nomination follows:

I would like to nominate Dr. Paula H. Chambers for the 2019 Woman of the Year Award. I have lived across the street from Dr. Chambers for a number of years now and have had the pleasure of knowing her.

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Paula brings sunshine and a smile to those who may have lost theirs. Paula makes it her business to bring cheer and hope to lonely older people she knows in the neighborhood, the Y, Memorial Manor and even Dr.’s offices.
Case in point: Dr.’s office in Tallahassee. Handicapped woman was having a “meltdown.” Paula talked with her and calmed her. In the end she said Paula was her new best friend!

She created and completed an award nominated project for Memorial Manor involving personal histories, framed photos, and a printed book for each resident. Paula enjoys visiting with the residents at Memorial Manor. She volunteered to do Cat in the Hat programs (in full costume including suffocating hat mask); one was at Grace kindergarten. Paula enjoyed volunteering to story tell, lead songs, teach children finger plays and do fun crafts, for Toddler Tales for public library. Paula sends greeting cards to friends and/or relatives of her friends to bring cheer into their lives. One of her favorite things is story telling for various groups. Another is listening to those who have stories to tell. Paula shares her love of nature with others (including the Long Leaf Pine Ecosystem, fossils, plants and geology.)
No matter where she goes her former students come up to her at places like the Y, Belk’s, the grocery store and other places to tell her how much she meant to them. After 30 plus years she still remembers their names!
Clearly Dr. Paula Chambers is deserving of this honor.

The second nomination came from The Post Searchlight reporter, Jill Holloway, who nominated Heather Jones Thomas as woman of the Year.

She writes: Heather is co-owner of the American and also co-owns the soon to be boutique hotel downtown. She is also a mother to a one-year-old, Vivienne and wife to Tyler Thomas. Heather is truly a renaissance woman and to my amazement she finds time to complete all her daily tasks, with a baby on her hip.

Since moving here, Heather and her husband have begun hosting the annual American Bluegrass and Folk Festival. With help, she created an event from scratch for the community to engage in that is family friendly and brings visitors from out of state to our community. She has also joined the Placemaking Collaborative with a team of other Bainbridge locals to help promote Bainbridge as a community with a diverse culture, quality of life and future home for many.

Heather never foresaw her future in Bainbridge, but has made it her home and helps other young women find what they want to do in their future. She recently took all of her female employees to the Women in the Workforce luncheon and spent quality time with them individually finding out their goals. She knows life can be confusing and often sends you in an unexpected direction, but she makes it her mission to help her employees go whatever direction they want. She wants their job to just be a stepping stone in their journey to success.

She is a woman I aspire to be. She attends City Council meetings when necessary to speak on behalf of what would be best for the community and propose new ideas that may otherwise go unheard. She is an excellent candidate for this award and I hope you will see this too.

The winner will be announced at the Chamber of Commerce annual Awards Evening held on the third Thursday in June.