HATTIESBURG, Miss. - 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 April 12.
This year’s event featured a presentation, South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land, by Julia Reed, who is a contributing editor of Elle Décor and Gun & Garden magazine.
Before Julia’s talk, four special attendees were surprised by being called to the stage as winners of the 2018 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:
Justice Dawn H. Beam:
Beam is an Associate Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, the highest court in the State of Mississippi. She has done exemplary work for education in the state and has become an example of what can be done with education, good health, sound mind and judgement. She has worked tirelessly for the rights of families, children and all of the people she serves.
Bell is a busy and successful business woman, who also serves in various leadership roles for community-focused organizations. As Chair of the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation, Bell helped organize the Pinebelt Strong telethon raising $390,000 to aid those devastated by the January 2017 tornado. Through her work with the Forrest General Hospital Healthcare Foundation, Bell has been instrumental in raising philanthropic dollars to build the Asbury Hospice House and The Healing Garden.
Barbara Barnes Tibbett:
Tibbett is very active in the Pink Ribbon Fund, working every event from teas, golf tournaments, races, and so much more. She also has a passion for supporting the veterans of our community and spends much of her time visiting with them and helping out with their monthly bingo parties at the VA facilities in Collins and Biloxi. Additionally, she played an instrumental role in honoring over 300 World War II veterans at Lake Terrace Convention Center and worked on the Vietnam veterans thank you program, which offered closure to Vietnam veterans who had never been thanked for their service.
Kirkpatrick, retired director of University of Southern Mississippi Public Relations, has spent a lifetime promoting the Pine Belt. Not only has he mentored many people, but he has definitely led by example. Due to his diligent leadership and hard work with the Day Lily Society, Hattiesburg recently garnered the nation’s first National Day Lily City Designation. Last year, Sales and Marketing Professional’s Pine Belt, of which he has been a long-time member, named one of their highest awards in his honor.
About Julia Reed:
This year’s event featured a presentation, South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land, by Julia Reed, who is a contributing editor of Elle Décor and Gun & Garden magazine. In addition to her work with Elle Décor and at Garden & Gun magazine, Reed also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, where she writes a food column, and is a frequent guest on MSNBC.
Reed grew up in the Mississippi Delta and began her career at Newsweek magazine’s Washington Bureau. For 20 years she was a contributing editor at Vogue, where her profile subjects included everyone from Oscar de la Renta, Robert Deniro and Sister Helen Prejean to George and Laura Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
She is the author of multiple bestselling books, including: But Mama Always Put Vodka in her Sangria: Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry; One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood; The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story; Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties; Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena; and Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High Style Fun All Year Long. Her latest book, South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land, will be released in June 2018.