By LIBBY CLUETT
Members and guests of the Zonta Club's Status of Women event not only heard words from speaker LaDonna Gatlin, they also heard her singing voice in her presentation, “Tune up your life.”
The singer and hall-of-fame speaker shared how her family sang together, inspired by their mother. At one point, when she met her future husband, LaDonna Gatlin took a different path from her famous brothers (Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers). She told Monday's audience that her brothers went on to produce hit records and she went on to produce two children.
She offered principles based on the foundation of teaching pitch in music, with the syllables do, re,
mi, fa, sol, la ti, do. The seven key principles that can guide women through anything life throws at them, according to Gatlin, are:
• DO – Do the right thing.
• RE – Realize potential.
• MI – Mind your manners.
• FA – Failures can become fertilizer.
• SOL – Solutions begin with me.
• LA – Laugh.
• TI – Time is valuable.
• And back to DO – Do the right thing.
She dappled her presentation with wit, personal and often comical stories
and song, encouraging attendees to seek out their potential and find their unique inner “voice” to become the best they can be.
Prior to Gatlin's performance, the Zonta Club honored three women from the community who have improved the lives of others. Zonta's 2013 honorees are Jacki Bandy, Beth Williams and Susan Woodring.
Bandy, a Mineral Wells High School graduate who teaches art at Mineral Wells Junior High and sponsors the Mineral Wells ISD Destination ImagiNation teams, was honored for teaching “children the art of using their creative processes to problem solve in astonishing ways” through DI, said Zonta Club First Vice President Dacey Malone.
Twice teacher for MWJH and once for MWISD, Bandy volunteers many nights and weekends with students, “teaching them to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges,” Malone said. “Under her leadership … [MWISD DI teams] have won three state championships and have made seven trips to the Global Destination ImagiNation finals.”
Three MWISD DI teams won first place at regional competition and will compete in the state tournament April 12-13.
Williams has worked at Bennett's Office Supply for 12 years as purchasing agent, and she spends her free time volunteering for the MWHS drama department, even though her daughters have graduated. She has taught students to sew, put together programs and has helped make props and costumes for productions.
She also volunteers with a number of organizations, including the United Way of Palo Pinto County, where she served on the board, chaired “Dancing With the Stars” and is involved with fundraising and distribution. She also helps with the Texas Frontier Trails organization and serves on the board of Noah's Ark. Williams teaches a women's Sunday school class and children's church at Cornerstone Baptist Church.
Woodring has been employed by Palo Pinto General Hospital for 43 years, where she works as a registered nurse leader and surgical first assistant.
“Susan is a very dedicated business professional to the patients and residents of Palo Pinto County,” Malone said. “She continually strives to be the best, compassionate caregiver to her patients, family and friends.”
The Zonta Club has several local projects, including Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County, PPGH, Girls' State, the United Way of Palo Pinto County, Coats for Kids, Relay for Life, annual scholarships, Z-Club, Grace After Fire, Project Graduation, Mineral Wells Center of Life and the Look Good, Feel Better program.
Zonta is all about making a difference.