Diane Fillhart recieved the Red Rose Award at the Kiln Library on January 27th. Di has been described as “a blessing to each life she encounters,” “a beacon of light,” “sheer love.” She has dedicated her life to serving others. She began her life career of service as a pediatric NICU nurse and added mission work by developing and leading after-school programs, homeless outreach, and recovery resources. In 1997, in Pennsylvania, Di started Pneuma-Winds of Hope, which would lead her to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005. She landed in Bay St. Louis two weeks after Hurricane Katrina and has made it her home. Her son, Zac, joined her in 2010. Together they began Starfish Café. This café was the answer to a vision they had to make a difference daily in many “lives recovering from hardships of life.” According to Starfish Café website, “the cafe provides experiential life education, preparing its students ages 18-30 (known as employees in traditional cafes) in restaurant, job, and life skills such as finance and anger management to completely reach their potentials. Furthermore, the Starfish Cafe is committed to wellness, purchasing food from local growers and stores and tending to gardens onsite featuring fresh herbs, vegetables, edible flowers, and even honey bees that contribute to their unique recipes.” Even with the demands of the Café, Di still makes time to help those in need across our nation. She, with the help of her son, have delivered aid to thousands of families who have been affected by natural disasters across our Nation. Her motto is “each day is dedicated to serving and loving others.”
This project lasts all year long as we mentor those women educators who are just beginning their teaching careers. One way we do this is through our ECE (Early Career Educator) Baskets. We choose 2 women and they give us some ideas of what they need for their classrooms. We try to choose an elementary and high school teacher. This year we've done exactly that! Our ECE Basket recipients are Morgan Fore and Breanna Halley.
Greetings! My name is Morgan Fore and I am a second-grade teacher at Anniston Avenue Elementary School in the Gulfport School District. Teaching is my passion and I am currently in the process of earning my Master’s Degree at the University of Mississippi. I am so excited and thankful to be considered for this special opportunity, and I look forward to meeting you all in September.
Breanna – teaches science half day and alternative school half day at Pass Christian High School. She wrote:
"Thank you so, so, so much! This really means the world to me! I am working between two different classes and this really would help. Please tell everyone how grateful I am."
Our Silent Auction was held at our meeting in October. We raised $525!! The break-down of the amounts for each fund is: $25-World Fellowship, $100-Schools for Africa, $150-Kathy Pair-Grant-in-Aid, $50-Alpha Upsilon Chapter availability fund, and $200-International Emergency fund. We also collected an additional $465 for the International Emergency fund, which brings the total donation to $665!* WOW!! What a generous and loving group of members we have!
*This took the place of our Pay-It-Forward Project. Due to the overwhelming natural disasters including 2 hurricanes, flooding, and fire, we voted to send money to the International Emergency Fund instead of adopting one chapter. This way more DKG sisters throughout the Society would be helped.
The following members attended the Southern District Meeting in Moss Point: Jeanine Stone, Toni Cook, Karen Fayard, Denise Costello, Lady Bruce, Kathy Drummond, and Belinda Pearce.
Not pictured: Linda Lightsey.