Each year Turtle Wing Foundation holds its Toast which is an opportunity for all those who have impacted or been impacted by Turtle Wing programming and activities to “Remember, Rejoice & Renew.” All donors, volunteers, families who have participated in any way, and individuals simply interested in learning more about how the foundation helps children “grow wings and fly” were encouraged to attend. The 8th Annual Toast was held on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at Sengelmann Hall in Schulenburg. The program featured the Schulenburg High School class of 2019 and the Year of the Flying Shorthorns. Jackson Allan Hooper, for whom Turtle Wing Foundation was founded in memory of in 2011, was part of this class. Jack’s best friend, Mary Wellborn, gave a speech that was full of love and insight. She shared that she and Jack, “Always saw people for people,” and that she knew that Jack was still present, “Helping all of us in this room and so many others.” Wellborn stated, “I believe Jack would want all of us to spread our wings and not be afraid of simply being who we are and accepting others for who they are.” Following Ms. Wellborn’s speech, a special video which involved Jack’s classmates, prior teachers and coaches was shared. The video touched upon Jack’s impact while he was with us and since his heavenly departure, as well as how his legacy - Turtle Wing Foundation – is changing our community for children and families with learning challenges. Additionally, the foundation announced that the first Turtle Wing scholarships for graduating seniors will be awarded this year to three members of the SISD Class of 2019. After this inaugural year, the scholarships will be opened to all high schools in the Turtle Wing service area. For those who could not attend, Ms. Wellborn’s speech and the featured video are available on Turtle Wing’s Facebook page. The evening was generously sponsored by Hatch, Beyond Therapy, and And Then - three of the area’s service providers who work closely with the children and families benefitting from Turtle Wing programming. For more information on the Toast and the foundation, please visit the Turtle Wing Facebook page @turtlewingfoundation, website www.turtlewingfoundation.org or contact Managing Director, Susie Shank 979-505-5090.
The official Turtle Wing “Toast” - Phyllis Fritsch/TW Outreach Coordinator, DeeAnn Hooper/TW Founder, Kim Wellborn/TW Secretary, Stacy Oeding/TW Chaplain, Darla Kubala/TW VP of Fundraising, Shallan Lichnovsky/TW Treasurer, Gigi Marburger/TW Scholarship Chair, Erin Wotipka/video creator, Pam Benbenek/TW Marketing committee.
Mary Wellborn/keynote speaker and member of the class of SISD 2019, DeeAnn Hooper/founder of TW, Abbey Wellborn/sister of Mary