This is truly an honor. Thank you Fort
Myers Chamber of Commerce Women in
“It takes a village to raise a child.” I
thank God for the people in my village who
have brought me to this point and I share
this nomination with all of them. It is,
in the end our connection to people that
makes the journey of life worthwhile.
I am fortunate to have my Mother her from
CT. Mom, you believed in me even when I
didn’t believe in myself. I watched you
get back up time again as life dealt you
hard blows. You taught me perseverance and
the power of unconditional love; two
things I try to teach my teen foster and
human trafficking victims.
I share a special bond with my sister,
Annie. Thank you for being my confidant
and friend. I couldn’t imagine this moment
with you. In my eyes, you will always
be”The Greatest Star.”
I also thank Dr. Dennis Botehlo for
pushing a small town girl to become a
doctor. To the late Dr. Shari Lieberman
for introducing me to Anti-Aging &
Functional Medicine: you gave me a whole
new set of tools to help my patients.
People ask my how I find time to do it
all. I have an incredible husband who has
been an amazing father to our girls. Mark,
you are my rock. My girls, Josephine and
Carmela, you are wise beyond your years
and innately accept God’s plan. Thank you
for understanding why I often don’t make
it home to tuck you in.
Foster care and human trafficking are 2
atrocities of our generation. I feel a
personal responsibility as a mother to do
something. I want to have an answer for my
girls when they ask me “Mommy what did you
do to help these children?’
Next to being a mother and doctor, being
part of the Village of Our Mother’s Home
is one of the top 3 greatest joys of my
life. My invitation to join was a true
calling from God and I remember the moment
vividly. Life would certainly be easier if
all His messages were so clear.
I thank Karen Watson, our Executive
director for nominating me and reminding
me to “keep the faith.” Your recognition
has tremendous meaning to me. Thank you
for breathing new life into our home.
I thank mentors like Michele Petrites, for
sharing your story of survival with our
girls in hopes of inspiring the same. You
have done group with me week after week
for over 3 years teaching the parenting
class; I couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you to our volunteers, especially
Emily Foehl for showing our girls
unconditional love, our founder Helen
Coppage, past and present board members,
including Pat Kreutzer, our unpaid office
manager, the unforgettable Ellie Poole and
now Shelly Osterhout, who I am proud to
share this stage with. Shelly you’re a
mover and shaker and I can’t wait to see
the things that we are going to do for Our
Mother’s Home. I thank our many donors,
without you our doors would not be open.
Lastly, I thank our staff who work for
less pay then their jobs are worth, but do
it because they believe in our mission.
Tom Monaghan will be our guest speaker at
the 3rd Annual Hearts of Love Gala with
Lindsay Logue of NBC news 2 our MC, on Feb
16, 2013 details are in the program.
Come join the village of Our Mother’s
Home. It will change the life of a child
for generations to come, and yours forever
for the better. Thank you.