We received many nominations for Statesville's Most Deserving Woman during our inaugural launch of this project and it was so difficult selecting a winner as there were so many deserving women nominated. Ultimately, the panel of judges decided that this woman embodied the spirit of what we wanted to celebrate: selflessness, kindness, and a sense of community. We couldn't really define what it was that we were looking for until we found it.
Here is the submission that we received from one of the winner's co-workers:
I would like to nominate a woman who is an inspiration to all that know her. Donna Donaldson, my social worker co-worker at XYZ. She works tirelessly to help our patients, going above and beyond for them to take care of literally any need they have. The slogan around our office is "there is nothing on earth she can't take care of." She worries about them on her day off, takes care of them from home and selflessly works for them around the clock. I have seen her find them new living situations and find ways to get their power bills paid when they need it. She is loved by the patients almost as much as she is loved by her co-workers. She is a single mother and has not had an easy year, she lost her father recently and never have i admired someones grace and poise dealing with her loss. She brings baked goods for her co-workers, does service work with her church, and is a fabulous, selfless mother to top it all off. She is an inspiration to every woman I know and the true definition of a woman "doing it all." I would love her to win this prize because there is no one who deserves a break and some relaxation more than this woman. And if she doesn't win, at the very least I want her to know that her selflessness, perseverance, and faith are not unnoticed among those of us who know her.
Once we selected the winner, we contacted her co-worker and we set the ball in motion to begin for the big reveal day. As it turns out, our winner, Donna, has a daughter in college, and so she became our liaison in working out all the logistics.
We started the day by meeting up with several of Donna's co-workers and our limo driver, John, of K-Towne Limousine near Donna's house. K-Towne contributed the usage of their gorgeous car for the day!
Our first stop was, of course, Donna's house! She had no idea that she'd been nominated, let alone won! Her daughter had come home from the college the day before to "surprise" her mom and told her she had a surprise planned for the next day so she had to be up and dressed and ready to go. No worries about mom being in her robe when we arrived!
As she opened the door, I introduced myself and explained why we were there. As I read the nomination we received on her behalf, Priscilla, owner of Downtown Blossoms, pinned a lovely corsage. After a few tears, lots of hugs, and some pictures, we were off to our first surprise of the day!
From Donna's house, John took us to J. Myers Salon & Spa where we told Donna that she and both of her daughters were being treated to manicures and pedicures and Donna would get to also enjoy a facial. Jodi, the salon owner, graciously contributed Donna's pampering services, and Donna's co-workers contributed the funds for the girls to receive theirs!
After their salon treatments, John picked the ladies up and took them downtown where the Sheri Allison Photography team met up with them again. We escorted them into Salice Boutique and surprised Donna by letting her know she had $100 to spend with one stipulation: she had to spend it on herself! Salice generously donated a $50 gift certificate and Sheri Allison and Bridget Merritt contributed another $50.
After trying on a few blouses and outfits, the perfect blouse and some bling was selected and we were off to our next surprise. We walked across the street to the Sheri Allison Photography studio where Groucho's Deli had provided a delicious lunch. Kasey Gwaltney of Glamour and Gloss was waiting to beautify Donna with hair styling and makeup application. Jewell's Harp was there and performed several songs while Donna received several surprise visits from friends. We had also had a multitude of gift baskets, gifts, and certificates for various services waiting for our Deserving Woman.
The next place we took Donna was to one of Iredell Museum's sites: The Gregory Creek Homestead and the surprise here was a full photo session for Donna and her girls! After lots of giggles and the creation of some gorgeous portraits, we headed back into Historic Downtown Statesville to Twisted Oak Bar and Grill for supper. Twisted Oak had kindly provided us with a $50 gift certificate for dinner and Bobby and Sheri Allison covered the remainder of the balance of our meal. After a wonderful time of dining and fellowship, Donna and her daughters were greeted by the beautiful horse drawn carriage from Nash Farms who so thoughtfully agreed to take them on a leisurely sunset ride through downtown. The evening ended when Kirby Nash, their carriage driver, brought them to the stately Clichy Inn where Donna and her oldest daughter were going to spend the night. Lori, owner of Clichy Inn, opened her Bed and Breakfast to the ladies with open arms.
It was an amazing day that I know we will never forget. The contributions from so many local businesses and citizens were humbling and to see so many people come together to celebrate one of our own was heartwarming. All in all, the gifts and services that were given to Donna and her family totaled over $6,000! Our goal for 2016 is $10,000!!!
|Sheri Allison Photography||$ 595.00||Portrait Session + 16x20 Gallery Wrapped Canvas, framed, matted floral prints, set of 20 notecards
|Indigo Hearts Productions||$ 800.00||Video of entire day|
|Anonymous Lawncare Company||$ 150.00||lawn service including gutter cleaning|
|ACI||$ 75.00||Most deserving woman branded items (mousepad, coffee mug, metal dry erase, keychain, magnet)|
|Ashden Campbell||$ 50.00||desserts|
|Ashley Stewart||$ 30.00||scentsy warmer|
|Black River Imaging||$ 1,400.00||Wall art from portrait session|
|Blush Dreams||$ 50.00||hair/makeup|
|Bridget Merritt||$ 60.00||31 large utility tote, Salice gift certificate|
|Bunton Lebe's||$ 36.00||oil change|
|Clichy Inn||$ 140.00||1 night stay|
|Connie Whitlock||$ 20.00||scentsy bars|
|coworkers of winner||$ 140.00||"big check", manicures/pedicures for winner's daughters|
|Daylight Donuts||$ 14.00||2 dozen donuts|
|Debbie Merritt||$ 50.00||custom door floral arrangement|
|Downtown Blossoms||$ 30.00||corsage|
|Erika Sloan||$ 90.00||Miracle Skincare set|
|Events Unlimited||$ 30.00||2 pub tables for reception|
|Groomingdell's||$ 25.00||gift certificate|
|Groucho's Deli of Statesville||$ 52.00||catered lunch for 8|
|J Myers Salon & Spa||$ 145.00||manicure, pedicure, 1 hour massage|
|Jay Bee's||$ 10.00||gift certificate|
|Hair by Jessi||$ 25.00||gift certificate|
|Jewell of All Trades||$ 25.00||gift basket 100% soy candles, etc.|
|Jewell's Harp||$ 150.00||live entertainment|
|Johnson Greenhouses||$ 50.00||bouquet|
|Julia Walsh - Goodnight Sleepsite North Carolina||$ 90.00||30 minute sleep consultation|
|Kim Eroh||$ 20.00||Jamberry gift set|
|K-Towne Limo||$ 300.00||limo service|
|Morgan Loughrey - Morgan Nicole Designs||$ 30.00||personalized note cards|
|Nash Farms||$ 400.00||carriage ride|
|Parks Quality Air||$ 150.00||Spring Time Heating & Cooling Service and Inspection|
|Salice Boutique||$ 50.00||gift certificate|
|Sun Fun Pool Co.||$ 165.00||gift package|
|Anonymous Contributor||$ 225.00||house cleaning service from Murray Maids|
|Teri Cloutier||$ 80.00||arbonne gift basket|
|Tickled Pretty||$ 20.00||wristlet|
|Traveling Pants Trading Co.||$ 40.00||gift basket|
|Twisted Oak Bar and Grill||$ 50.00||dinner for 2|
|Wine Maestro||$ 40.00||gift basket|
|Bobby and Sheri Allison||$ 199.00||Salice Gift Certificate, Twisted Oak, Refreshments, Printed notepads, etc.|