“This is the second year that we’re [presenting this program],” said the Rev. Annie Carter, associate minister for St. Luke A.M.E. Church. “It was done year before last. The reason we are doing it [is because] we’ve had so many funerals lately and at the funerals they talk about what wonderful things this person has done and how much they’ve meant to us. But they don’t hear it then. So [Women of Excellence Chairperson] Kim [Byron] came up with the idea of honoring people while they are still here. So they can hear what people really think of them and how their lives have impacted other people.
“... [Our last program was] heartwarming, spiritually filled. We had some women that have done some remarkable things in the community — working with children, doing things within the church, within education, so forth and so on. They really appreciated it. ... It’s just an acknowledgment of what people do outside of their job and what’s expected of them.”
The 2012 recipients included Marla Coombs, Judith Ingram, Cynthia Knox, Dorothy Morgan, Robbie Allison Colson-Ramsey and Beverly Shaw. This year’s honorees have a long list of past and current accomplishments, some of which include Castillo, president of The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc., board member for Triad Region CARES Mentoring Movement; Greene, funeral director for Mack Eppinger & Sons Funeral Service Inc., board member of Christian League for Battered Women; Gardner, HIV/AIDS activist and public speaker, founder of Knew Choices Inc.; Miles, Summer Hill School alumna, educator, charter member of American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Critical Curriculum Issues Special Interest Group; and Linda Kellogg, administrative assistant at Cartersville High School, 2013-2014 Classified Employee of the Year for Cartersville High School, chairperson of the local Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee.
“We had a name pool and several women’s names were submitted and those were the ones that we chose,” Byron said. “... [This] started as part of our Women’s Day program.
“In 2012, I got the idea that being that it’s Women’s Day, we needed to uplift some women and make them feel special and that there are women in the community or women that we may know throughout our lives that have given us ... positive input, have been role models, given encouragement and kind of showed us how to lead the way. We just wanted to honor them while they were here.”
Admission to the Women of Excellence program, which is open to the public, will be a $20 donation. The proceeds will help cover the cost of the gathering and future programs offered by the church’s Women’s Ministry.
For more information, call Byron at 770-608-2946.