Faces of Change
The No-Show Ball: an Exciting Fall Tradition
The 6th No-Show Ball has gone down in history as another record-breaker. This fundraising event – which brings tote-bags of tasty food and drink to the doorsteps of supporters – this year broke all past records in terms of numbers of totes sold.
The 2013 event, held on November 3, resulted in the sale of 504 totes (compared to 482 last year) by its sponsoring organization, the UAB School of Nursing's Junior Board of Visitors (JBOV). This year marked the second-in-a-row block-buster No-Show Ball event for the JBOV.
Committed to raising funds for UAB scholarships in pediatric nursing, the JBOV last year and this year has been focused on funding a scholarship in memory of brother-and-sister twin infants – the Seth Houston McCoin, Jr., and Elizabeth Morgan Endowed Scholarship in Pediatric Nursing. (Read more on Page 14.)
All proceeds from last year's No-Show Ball, this year's event, and next year's as well, go toward endowing the Mc¬Coin Scholarship at a $250,000 level. With this year's event generating more than $50,000 profit, the JBOV is well on its way to the ultimate goal, with $181,163.95 raised thus far for the McCoin Scholarship.
As the young women and young men in the JBOV prepare for and carry out a No-Show Ball event, they are united by a common feeling of love and commitment that bonds them to their mission and to one another – a bond felt by every single JBOV member.
After spreading their message to the community to sell the totes, JBOV members come together for a work-filled weekend to make the No-Show Ball a reality. Organized in side-by-side assembly-line style, JBOV members labor for hours to pack food and beverages into tote bags. Then they scatter into their various ve¬hicles and drive to locations near and far – to deliver the totes directly to the doorsteps of those who supported the event. For tote recipients, that's when the fun feast can begin. In the comfort of their homes, they dine on No-Show Ball goodies.
Now 23 members strong, the JBOV was led in this year's No-Show Ball by Chair Ashelynn Falkenburg Smith and Co-Chairs Kate Wood Hamilton and Sidney Wood Clapp. Joining to make this year's venture a success were the event's Sponsors and Partners. The Tote Part¬ners were Ashley Mac's, B-Metro Magazine, Full Moon Barbeque, Jim N' Nick's, Neighorhood Hops and Vine, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Royal Cup Coffee, and The Scribbler. Sponsors included The Hope and Miracles Project, Jean Tomlinson, Mitchell Industries, McWane, Inc., and many anonymous donors. Added to that, to comprise yet another Sponsor, was the total of individual monetary contributions given by every JBOV member in addition to his or her work in hosting the event.
This event honored the memories of two precious babies whose impact planted the scholarship's seeds. It honored the babies' courageous parents and dedicated nurses and other caretakers who cared for the babies. It honored JBOV members who in 2012 conducted the JBOV's most successful fundraiser to date, raising $108,551 to create the scholarship.
Thus it was that, on June 21, an audience gathered at the UAB Women & Infants Center for the dedication of the Seth Houston McCoin, Jr. and Elizabeth Morgan McCoin Endowed Scholarship in Pediatric Nursing.
The tiny twin babies for whom the scholarship is named, Houston and Morgan, were born three months prematurely at St. Vincent's Birmingham on September 7, 2011. Houston died four days after birth. His sister Morgan, transferred to UAB Women & Infants Center when she was a month old, lived until age 9 months. After their deaths, their parents – JBOV member Elizabeth McCoin and her husband Seth – said they were so touched by their babies' caretakers that they wanted Morgan and Houston to be remembered through a JBOV pediatric nursing scholarship.
"I can't think of a better gift you could give," Dean Doreen C. Harper said of the babies' parents as she spoke at the ceremony. "This presentation is about your strength and courage, your perseverance and inspiration." Although Morgan and Houston had short lives, Dean Harper said that "families will know them, through the nurses awarded this scholarship for years to come."
Seth McCoin said he and Elizabeth hope their babies "will continue to reach into your hearts." Calling the dedication "a celebration of our babies and also of the excellent care they received," he said: "Thank you for loving our children. Thank you for loving us. Today we celebrate the lives of our children and also their caretakers."
The babies' caretakers were cited in the scholarship resolu¬tion: "This scholarship is to honor the nurses and (other) health¬care professionals who so tenderly and compassionately cared for Houston and Morgan, including, Angie Barganier, Ashley Costa, Lyndsey Cunningham, Amanda Draper, Helen Elcott, Melissa Elliott, Katelyn Englert, Juliet Haikes, Amanda Hoover, Emory Horne, Mallory Hornsby, Sally Kinder, Maggie Logan, Stephanie Magnus, Kathryn McDaniel, Tiffany McMillan, Sarah Newell, Miriam Patterson, Alanna Shiftlett, Stacy Stovall, Stephanie Thomas, Corinne Vrazel, and nurse practitioners Lisa Costa, Courtney Holmes, Wilma King, and Ashley Kirkpatrick."
Incoming JBOV Co-Chair Kate Hamilton said JBOV members are "so glad we could remember the babies in this way."
Board Member Profile: Kate Hamilton and Sidney Clapp
When the Junior Board of Visitors (JBOV) leadership gavel is passed in January, for the first time the Chair position will be shared by two JBOV members. Succeeding the third Chair, Ashelynn Falkenburg Smith, will be Co-Chairs Kate Wood Hamilton and Sidney Wood Clapp.
Kate and Sidney are sisters, accustomed to tackling projects together since childhood. They have remained close, within a close-knit family, their lives intersecting in special ways.
Today both Kate and Sidney are married, with children. They live only a few houses apart in Mountain Brook's Crestline section. Their husbands, Ford Hamilton and Martin Clapp, have been friends since college. Ford and Martin both work in the family business, Wood Fruitticher – Ford in purchasing, Martin in information technology. Sidney and Martin first met at Kate and Ford's wedding.
Their children are near one another in age – Kate and Ford's children, Elizabeth, 13, and Wood, 10, and Sidney and Martin's children, Margaret Moore, 10; Lucy, 8; and Alice, 5.
"Since everyone is close, it's easy to spend time together," says Sidney, who is called "Sister" by family and friends.
Family connections spurred the sisters' JBOV involvement. It was their Aunt Jean who approached them about becoming founding JBOV members and thus supporting the UAB School of Nursing. Aunt Jean is Jean Tomlinson, longtime member of the UAB nursing school's senior Board of Visitors (BOV); her late husband, Jack, was a brother of Sidney and Kate's late grandmother.
The sisters' family connections also helped the JBOV expand its No-Show Ball fundraising initiative of selling food-and-drink baskets delivered to supporters' homes. To expand, the JBOV needed additional freezer and packing space for No-Show Ball preparation. That was arranged by Wood Fruitticher, which has such space for its business of distributing food and restaurant-related products.
"Having freezer and packing space is a unique asset that turned out to be a blessing to help grow our JBOV fundraiser," said Kate. The sisters received quick approval for Wood Fruitticher's helping hand from their dad, Dave Wood II, who co-owns the company with his brother John. "It was like, 'Hey Dad, what do you think of this?' " said Sidney. "He said, 'Okay.' "
In 2011, another Wood family member joined the JBOV – Angie Wood. She's the wife of Kate and Sidney's brother, Dave Wood III, who works in Wood Fruitticher's warehouse operation, and who, like Kate and Sidney's husbands, helps with the No-Show Ball.
The JBOV's 2012 and 2013 No-Show Ball fundraisers were the most successful in JBOV history. The two fundraisers combined generated a total of $181,163.95 for a scholarship in memory of the twin babies of JBOV member Elizabeth McCoin and her husband Seth – the Seth Houston McCoin, Jr., and Elizabeth Morgan McCoin Endowed Scholarship for Pediatric Nursing. Kate and Sidney are optimistic that JBOV momentum will continue. "Our members are inspired. We've come to view this as kind of a calling," said Sidney. And, added Kate, JBOV members are unified in their mission: "We know that nursing touches every single person."
Board Member Profile: Melinda Helveston
As Melinda Helveston serves her community, she goes about it in a variety of ways.
One of the organizations to which she lends a helping hand is The Foundry, a local rescue and recovery center for men and women suffering from addiction and often homelessness. Melinda personally mentors some women served by The Foundry.
Another of Melinda's focuses is being a board member of Cornerstone, which tackles poverty through quality education and faith-based character building.
In her home city of Vestavia Hills, her interests include her church, Vestavia Hills United Methodist, and Vestavia Hills Garden Club.
She's also a strong cheerleader for her husband, Ron (known to family and friends as Bubba), who has taken time from his busy life as president of CRC Insurance Company to visit and support an orphanage in the faraway land of Tibet, a plateau region of the People's Republic of China.
In 2010, Melinda accepted an opportunity to join the Board of Visitors of the UAB School of Nursing. "Members of this Board are such extraordinary people!" she said. As for the cause, Melinda said supporting nursing is close to her heart because she once considered becoming a nurse. That was before she opted instead to earn a University of Alabama degree in journalism, public relations, and English and entered a career that included a nine-year public relations stint with The Southern Company.
Melinda's appreciation for the health field has never lessened since that period when she considered becoming a nurse. "Since I grew up in Birmingham, I have been very aware of how UAB's wonderful health operations have grown. To me, that has been so impressive, such a gift," she said, noting that the UAB School of Nursing is very much a part of that gift.
When Melinda talked of what embarked her on the road to more community service, she recalled increasing her church work and immersing herself in PTA after leaving behind her career to devote more time to her personal life, which would include being a mother of four. Those four, now young adults, are 32-year-old son Blake, who is in the insurance business and, with wife Laura, on July 2 welcomed newborn son Charlie; 29-year-old social worker son Drew, married to Leigh – parents of son Mac, who will turn 2 in March; and twin daughters Emily and Haley, 22, University of Alabama seniors and roommates, both majoring in fashion merchandising.
Melinda smiled as she spoke of her children, who've grown up to make her proud. She beamed, too, of initiatives she supports that make her proud. Of the UAB School of Nursing, there's a particular aspect she admires.
"I admire that, even though the UAB School of Nursing already is ranked among the top in the United States, the dean and faculty aren't comfortable to allow the school to stand still," she said. "The school's leaders always are searching for ways to make the school better and better. I love that!"