Each week on Thursday morning we celebrate an amazing woman in our community. We would love to hear from you about a special woman in your life. Please fill out our Woman of the Week nomination form and let us know who that is in your life. You can read the stories below of our growing list of amazing women.
Woman of the Week: Lisa Andazola
Nominated by: Linda Rich
My sister has always been amazing, so giving and kind, but when my husband of 37 years was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, she went above and beyond for us. She brought my neice and 2 nephews, who my husband adored to the cancer hospital in Tulsa driving from New mexico where they live, 13 hours one way, to be with us, several times in our 4 month stay.She was so optimistic the Lord would heal John.There was always a card, a package in the mail with some natural concoction to fight the cancer, calling everyday, praying over the phone,Despite our wishes, the Lord called him home, March 5, 2012 . My sister, through this whole journey was there for us. The time following she would call or text me several times a day to see how I was doing. I feel one of the reasons I have done so well in handling my loss is that I have had such support, love and constant prayers lifted up for me from my sister. She is an incredible woman of God, she has loved the Lord since she was a teenager and has been faithful to Him her whole life. She is a testimony to all that no her, she is my woman of the week, month, year and my life. Thanks sister, love you.
Woman of the Week: Kimberly D’Avis
Nominated by: Matthew D’Avis
Kim has given me three beautiful children. She is a nurse in a very stressful area and yet she comes home and is patient and kind and loving. Through all my faults and misgivings she has remained a constant anchor and source if encouragement for me and our children. She truly is what a godly woman is and she shows that through her words and actions.
Woman of the Week: Diane Vanbuskirk
Nominated by: Cheryl Sharp
I met Diane about 10 years ago. She has been so generous to our family of her time and resources, especially since my husband lost his job 3 yrs ago. There were countless ways she provided for our family of 6. One story that illustrates her sacrificial spirit happened the first of this year. Our daughters were on a Missions Trip to Panama. Through circumstances, my daughter’s passport was missing when arriving at the airport. She was not allowed to leave and was told she would not get out of the country for at least a week. The rest of our family was in North Georgia. Eventually, she got home and Diane drove her and her sister 9 hours, arriving at 3 am to us. She said, “She needs a hug form her mommy.” Words can not express what that meant to us and I can never repay her for what she did for us. She is truly amazing and a woman after God’s own heart!
Woman of the Week: Molly Fabiano
Nominated by: Michelle Roberts
My Mum is an amazing woman. She has always taken care of her family so well. She did everything for my brother and I growing up. She made my childhood fun and memorable. She and my Dad have been married for 47 years. Now she has failing health. In addition to being in constant pain from neck problems and fibromyalgia she also has dementia. She doesn’t always remember what someone has said to her. But she still works hard to keep a nice house for my Dad. She will go out of her way to help me and my 7 year old daughter. My Mum is so good to Jadyn. She loves her grandchild very much. Even though I know she would rather lay down and do nothing she gets up and helps me every chance she gets. Her love of Christ is immesurable. She helped me come to the Lord at the age of 9. I will always be grateful for that. She is the best woman in the world that I know and I just wanted everyone to know that. I love you Mum.
Woman of the Week: Heidi Haesche
Nominated by: Melissa Martinez
I met Heidi when we were in college, but we were only acquaintances, really. When I moved to Orlando from TN, I prayed that God would help me find a friend. In 2005, I walk into UCF my first day of class, and there’s Heidi! We have become very close since then. In 2006, when I lost my son, Heidi was a huge support for me. When one of the best “conversations” we had was when she sat with me and just quietly held my hand in silence. Heidi is one of the strongest, most gracious people I know. I admire her courage, humor, and just who she is. I thank God every day that He crossed our paths again ten years later in Florida!
Woman of the Week: Belinda Manzano
Nominated by: Marge Mihalko
It is difficult to tell just one story about Belinda and what an amazing woman she is. I could tell you about the support she gave me when my husband passed away from cancer 3 years ago, or how she has embraced my kids and myself , almost as part of her family. But I think what makes her most amazing, is her true commitment in her life to God and family. Smart and successful in a career where she could have done anything, she prayed for Gods guidance, and a year and a half ago, quit her full time job, to work full time at her kids school. This year with a new baby in tow, she does not officially work at the school, but she is there, everyday, helping teachers, eating lunch with her own kids, and continuing to impact the lives of the kids she got to know when she worked at the school. She is an amazing Christian who is an inspiration to me. And an unbelievable friend to all who know her. The best part, is I am not sure she truly knows the impact she has on people, and that is what makes her all the more amazing.
Woman of the Week: Leila LeePow
Nominated by: Tara Gillam
Leila works for a contractor providing support to the NASA legal office at Kennedy Space Center. No matter how stressful the work environment gets, Leila comes to work every day with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. She is a daily reminder that we are to live life to glorify of God. She is a compassionate listener, and the heartbeat of this office. When one of our paralegals became gravely ill, it was Leila who repeatedly visited her in the hospital to pray with her, and called for updates to share with the office. When I recently lost my beloved pet, Leila was there for me. When our lives get complicated, or we arrive at work with sour attitudes, Leila points to the Jesus pin she always wears on her lanyard and says, “give your troubles over to Him.” She is a daily reminder of the joy in our lives that many of us overlook.
Woman of the Week: Gloria Tanner
Nominated by: Jennifer Gingras
My mom raised her 3 children as a single parent. She sacrificed and struggled to make our needs met and to do what was best for her kids. She provided a loving home and gave each of us the skills and faith we needed to succeed as adults. After we all moved out, my mom took a job in a foster care community where she met and fell in love with 8 year old twins. She adopted them and 5 years later they are thriving. Adoption brings with it many struggles and my mom is still sacrificing her needs to provide for her twins. She is my hero and she deserves some recognition and love especially during the holiday season.
Woman of the Week: Jessica Fortunato
Nominated by: Stephen Fortunato
This past month has been one of the most trying times in our life together since we got married two years ago. We’ve had relational struggles, but this trial has been one of busyness and major life change. My wife Jessica has just embarked upon a 3 year commitment to earn her degree and licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has taken on her own challenges with classes, work and the keeping of our home in an incredibly adept way, meeting every task with excellence. In miraculous ways, she is still able to be the encourager to me she has always been. She writes me daily notes that remind me of how much she believes in me and of her undying love and respect for me. She is truly a gift from God and an honor to our home. I would like to nominate her as a Woman of the Week because though she has had every reason in the world to give up, shrink back or get frustrated she has chosen instead to follow God’s call on her life with grace and joy.
Woman of the Week: Irma Moss
Nominated by: Diana Jacobacci
Mrs. Moss, or “Mama Eagle”, is the principal at Moss Park Elementary. To say that she goes above and beyond for her school family is putting it mildly! The school is decorated like a home, and visitors are immediately impressed with what a welcoming environment she has created. She takes the time to visit with her students and is always available to give and receive hugs–from both the kids AND adults! Her love of Christ is evident in her daily walk. With all of the challenges she faces, she remains strong in the arms of Christ and is a true light of His love!