Times-Tribune / Staff Report
After sorting through nominations, the Times-Tribune has selected 12 women for our second-annual Dynamic Dozen Women of the Year event.
Those selected are Kay Schwartz, Adrianna Loy, Betty Williamson, Lisa Davis, Debbie Hardin, Carcille Burchette, Lucy Taylor, Diana Vincent, Glenna White, Thelma Lockhart, Betty Jordan and Mary “Sugar” Pearce.
Kay Schwartz worked in the county clerk’s office for more than three decades years before being elected as county clerk in 2006.
Aside from her role at the courthouse, Schwartz also works with a group of women who visit the jail on Mondays and have church with those who are incarcerated.
“It’s through this ministry that Kay hopes to open and establish The Hope House, which has been a dream for her for six years,” Schwartz’s nomination letter stated. “Through The Hope House, she hopes to help women that have been addicted to drugs or have been incarcerated for any reason to get a new start in life.”
Adrianna Loy runs the Corbin branch of the Laurel County Adult Education office, but she also makes time to teach yoga classes, work toward her masters degree in English as a second language, and perform with her contemporary/alternative rock band Addie.
Loy was nominated by Tammy Patterson for her dedication to her students.
“Just last night she comes home from work and starts talking about one of her students and how art is his passion,” Patterson wrote. “She drives to Woodbine to give this young man her charcoal and colored pencils so he will have the tools to do what he loves. This again is the reason why I think she is deserving of this honor.”
Betty Williamson taught school in Knox County for 40 years before retiring in 1986. She began teaching at age 18, and rode a horse to the school her first year.
She was nominated by her daughter, Joanne Sizemore, who wrote, “Mom began her teaching career in one-room schools, teaching all eight grades herself.”
She eventually taught at Dewitt Elementary and for the summer Head Start program in the 1960s. She is past president of the Knox County Teachers Association and a past delegate to the National Education Association in Chicago.
Lisa Davis was named park manager at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in 2005, and since that time, has added numerous community events at the park, including monthly bluegrass jams and the new astronomy club at the park.
With her leadership, the park has become more involved with the communities by forming a friends group, and the Cumberland Falls annual river cleanup continues to be a way to preserve the area’s greatest natural asset and tourist attraction.
Debbie Hardin has worked for Baptist Regional Medical Center for the past 16 years and currently heads the hospital’s marketing and public relations and manages the gift shop. In her role, she has helped organize numerous community health fairs and fundraising events. She initiated the Angels Unaware project, which collects money and purchases clothing and gifts for children during Christmas. She is also a member of the chamber of commerce and Rotary clubs in both London and Corbin.
Carcille Burchette is the gifted and talented coordinator for Corbin Independent School District. She has enthusiastically led student participation in the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association and parent participation in the Corbin High School Academic Boosters Club.
“Mrs. Burchette goes above and beyond the duties of the gifted and talented program of the Corbin School District,” wrote the person who nominated her. “She has been a leader and mentor to many students in the entire Corbin School District and she has the ability to get the students involved through community service and leadership training.”
Lucy Taylor is an LPN at the Christian Health Center in Corbin, where she spends extra time helping her residents and patients. The person who nominated her, but did not sign his name, wrote that Taylor “is the first one there to help and the last one to leave.”
She takes up collections for cancer and diabetic patients, and spearheads fundraisers at the health center.
Diana Vincent is the American Legion Auxiliary chaplain in Corbin, the veterans officer for the Tri-County Elks, a member of AMVETS and the Corbin UNITE Coalition. In addition, she volunteers at area nursing homes and conducts bingo at The Heritage four times a month.
She has been named a Kentucky Colonel, collects pop tabs for the Shriners, walks every year for Alzheimer’s research and raises money for Relay for Life.
“For all these reasons and a hundred more I’m sure I’ve forgotten, I am so proud to nominate my friend, Diana Vincent, as one of the Times-Tribune’s Tri-County Women of the Year for 2008,” wrote Joyce Freeman of Corbin.
Glenna White drove a bus for Corbin schools for 22 years, and she became known for bringing cookies, candy and even Popsicles for her students. Since retiring from the school bus, White now works everyday with her husband at the family-owned White’s Pro Billiards. She cooks homemade vegetable soup, while her husband and son specialize in their well-known chili buns and bowl chili.
White was nominated by Deana Jones.
“Glenna’s former bus students like to stop by the pool room to say hello, shoot some pool, eat some chili or give her a hug and a special ‘thank you,’” Jones wrote.
Thelma Lockhart is a former teacher, retired in 1988, who now volunteers at the Corbin Senior Citizens Center almost daily.
She has attended Calvary Baptist Church for 76 years, is a 30-year member of the Corbin Women’s Club, and was selected as one of the club’s Women of the Year by the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs during her tenure as club president.
Lockhart enjoys needlework and crochets booties by request for premature babies and newborns at BRMC.
She was nominated by 43 friends at the Corbin Senior Citizens Center.
“Her cheerful and caring attitude, her love of life and people are an inspiration to all of those who know her,” they wrote in their nomination letter.
Betty Jordan is a three-time cancer survivor who now leads the fundraising efforts of the Knox County Cancer Patient Fund. She organizes events, such as the upcoming corn hole tournament and annual Call-A-Thon, which took in a record-breaking $10,000 this year. All of the money raised will go to cancer patients in Knox County who need help paying for travel to and from doctor’s appointments and other costs associated with fighting cancer.
Mary “Sugar” Pearce
Hundreds of area children have received Christmas presents over the years through the T.J. Memorial Toy Run organized by Mary “Sugar” Pearce and her husband. The motorcycle toy runs began 10 years ago in honor of T.J. Nichols of Williamsburg, who was killed in a motorcycle accident near Jellico. Pearce and her husband have dedicated their time to pull together the event every year. This year’s event drew 51 motorcycles and raised $4,000.