We are thrilled to share that Penny J. Hopper has been awarded “Woman of the Year” by the League of Women Voters of Carteret County, NC.
Penny joined NC Interfaith Power & Light in 2008 as a Steering Committee Member. A year later, she became the Secretary and in 2014 was elected to Vice-Chair. Her roles beyond NCIPL’s Executive Committee include chairing the Leadership Council, serving on the Worship Working Group, as well as serving as the coastal liaison between NCIPL and the Sierra Club, and being actively involved in her Unitarian Coastal Fellowship Green Sanctuary Committee. She retired from teaching Biology at Carteret Community College in 2010 and has been a full-time volunteer environmental activist since that time.
Click here to read Penny’s story sketched in last year’s Coastal Review publication.
We are blessed to have Penny’s leadership as part of our state-wide Creation Care initiatives and I hope you will join me in congratulating her for this well deserved recognition!
Penny Hooper’s acceptance for “Woman of the Year” Award – August 25, 2016
A big THANK YOU to the League of Women Voters for organizing this competition!
This is an opportunity to highlight on Women’s Equality Day the good works done throughout our community by many different women over the years.
I was honored just to be nominated for the award, and I was totally surprised to hear from Carol Geer that when the votes were counted this year, I had won. I am so sorry that I cannot be with you to celebrate, but I am in Indiana attending my 50th High School Reunion, which obviously only happens once in 50 years! Thanks to Lucy Bond who nominated me for delivering these brief remarks.
I feel very strongly that this award is a recognition of the work each of us does in our community. It is not about us as individual women, but it is about being involved and active in our places of business, in our churches, in our civic groups, and in our community in general. I realize that Carteret County is a better place because all of us are working together to make this a better place for all. As we approach Labor Day, let me say thank you to each of you for the work you do.
Some folks might ask the question, “Why bother going to meetings, making phone calls, organizing folks, and volunteering your time and energy? Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to just relax and enjoy life on our beautiful Crystal Coast?” I came across this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson which captures one of the reasons we all do what we do. I have taken the liberty of changing his pronouns to the feminine gender since this is Women’s Equality Day. Here’s what Emerson had to say:
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no woman can seriously help another without helping herself.”
We are all richly blessed by the work we do and the connections we make through that work.
As I worked this past year with a group of folks gathered under the banner of “Concerned Citizens” to stop offshore oil drilling on the mid-Atlantic Coast, I came to realize once again, that the important things in life are not your political party, the color of your skin, your gender, your age, your religion, or any of those things. The important thing for each of us is to act out of a place of love, not hate, and to share that love with others for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
We all CAN and DO make a difference by working together in our community.
Thank you for all that each of you do. And thank you again to the League of Women Voters for providing this wonderful recognition every year. I am truly honored!