Pine Belt residents honored as Spirit in Action winners during annual event
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (March 31, 2016) Four Pine Belt residents were honored for their commitments to caring for the community as winners of the Spirit in Action Awards, presented at the annual Spirit of Women Spring Event on March 31.
This year’s event featured a presentation by Leigh Anne Tuohy, the matriarch of the Tuohy family featured in Michael Lewis’s New York Times best-selling book, The Blind Side. Her talks are among the most inspiring in the world, bringing audiences to their feet and challenging everyone to turn around, identify the need, and help.
During the event, four special attendees were surprised by being called to the stage as winners of the 2016 Spirit in Action awards, recognizing their work in making the Pine Belt a healthier, safer and more inspirational place to live. This year’s winners were:
Ann McCullen – Ann serves as the Executive Director of Edwards Street Fellowship Ministries. She helps get meals to the individuals and families who need it. The food pantry provides emergency food to over a thousand households every month. Additionally, Ann is involved with the New Fellowship Clinic and Pharmacy, which serves those who do not have insurance and need medical care and medications.
Father Tommy Conway – Father Tommy is the priest for St. Fabian Catholic Church and is well known and loved by all. He gives of his time to help raise money for the homeless and hungry as well as breast cancer patients in the area. Whatever the call, he is there to help. During the aftermath of the tornados in Hattiesburg and Columbia and the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, Father Tommy organized teams of volunteers to provide services for food, clothing, clean up and comfort. In some cases, this assistance went on for months.
Allison Hinz and Amber Wadsworth – Amber and Allison volunteer to serve as Regional Director and Assistant Director, respectively, for Special Olympics Mississippi’s Hub City Region, which covers a 5 county area. After a 10 year absence in this area, they stepped up to ensure the Special Olympics Games remained in the community. Because of their belief that everyone deserves to be part of something, to have a sense of community, and to feel loved, they volunteer their free time to organize all aspects of the events. This includes soliciting athletes, volunteers, sponsorships, scheduling committee meetings, communications and publicity. They both do this work as volunteers in addition to their full time jobs.
“Each of these Spirit in Action award winners make the Pine Belt a better place to live and work,” said Millie Swan, Forrest General chief marketing and medical staff services officer. “They often provide aide to the most vulnerable members of our community, and through their leadership, show others where they are needed to serve,” said Swan.
Pictured: Left to right: Allison Hinz, Amber Wadsworth, Father Tommy Conway, Ann McCullen
About Spirit of Women
Spirit of Women is a national network of American hospitals and healthcare providers that ascribe to the highest standards of excellence in women’s health, education, and community outreach. With more than 8,500 members, Forrest General is the exclusive Spirit of Women hospital for South Mississippi, having attained Premier status in recognition of strong efforts in moving women to take action for their health!