Five Tupelo women received the regional Spirit of Women awards by North Mississippi Medical Center. They are:
- Young Person, Role Model - Kaitlyn Kinsey
- Community Hero - Debbie Wiley
- Healthcare Hero - Sabrina Ganaway
Rhonda Horton and Maggie Caldwell, founders of Mama's Got a Brand New Bag charity purse auction, were honored for their team effort and support of SAFE Inc. and the Fairy Godmother Project.
Kinsey, who will graduate from Tupelo High School this week, was recognized for her work on behalf of Parkinson's disease, which claimed the life of her father, Jerry Kinsey. Parkinson's awareness was the centerpiece of her senior project and she raised more than $2,000 for research through a community walk.
"I'm so humbled," Kinsey said as she accepted the award. "I'm trying not to cry."
Wiley has given her time to children learning to read and to terminally ill patients by volunteering with her dog for Comfort Creatures. In addition to serving with a number of organizations, she started English-as-second-language classes at First Baptist Church.
"There's so many people who give so freely," Wiley said. "I'm blessed to work beside them."
Sabrina Ganaway, a registered nurse and lactation specialist at NMMC Women's Hospital, has helped legions of women master the sometimes tricky art of breast-feeding, even giving out her personal phone number so new moms could get extra support.
In accepting the award, she saluted her own mother, Doris Davidson, who nominated her for a Spirit of Women award years ago and is now a hospice patient.
"I cannot wait to go home and share this with my mother," Ganaway said.
Kinsey, Wiley and Ganaway will be considered for national Spirit of Women Initiative Awards. The Spirit of Women is national initiative that North Mississippi Medical Center participates in. The regional winners will be considered for the national Spirit of Women awards.
Also nominated for the award were Lauren Pugh of Tupelo, Kayleigh White of New Albany, Kelly Jo Brewer of Ripley, Mable Grisby of Tupelo, Rhonda Weaver of Shannon, Glenda Brinkley of West Point and Gena Vail of New Albany.
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (622) 678-1599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.