The Chattanooga Golf and Country Club hosted the event, which was absolutely lovely with pretty pepper plants and rolls of delicious Girl Scout cookies decorating each table. The Trefoil award is about girls’ empowerment, including gaining courage, confidence and character through Scouting, something that helped Sonia become the strong, independent, self-directed woman she is today. In fact, she still has her 72-year-old Girl Scout uniform (with a sleeve full of badges) because of how much it means to her.
Jeff Jackson introduced the honoree by reading a very touching letter from her daughter Melanie Ransom, who lives in New York. Representatives from almost every board Sonia ever served on were present, including The Chattanooga Theatre Centre, The Chattanooga Ballet, The Chattanooga Zoo, McKamey Animal Center and the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Foundation. Her family, David and Finette Winer, and extended family, including Debby Alper, Jacqueline Marschak and Leonard Murray, Nancy Poston and Chip Caldwell, Marty Brown and Hazel McDermott, cheered loudly for her!
First Tennessee Foundation sponsored the event, and both departing president Jeff Jackson, as well as new president Jay Dale sat at the sponsor table. Sonia’s boss at UTC, Steve Ray, as well as some of her former UTC public speaking students, Kate Trundle and Cynthia Dale ,were there, as were Carole Klimesch, Marissa Ogles, Emily Straussberger, Mary Lucille Sharp, Mark Ramsey, JoAnn Yates, Virginia Polley, Margaret Reisman, Barbie Standefer, Linda Thompson, Martha Mackey, Sherry Dahrling, Cora and Ted Feintuch, Andrew Parker, Susan Robinson, Jamie McAloon, Mary Ollie, Paula Hurn, Darde Long, Amy Aallara, Liz Crowe, Chelsea Dale, Julie Taylor, Dee Hardin, Todd Olsen, Lisa Glisson, Nicole Coleman, Lynn and Rodney Strong, Becki Jordan, Owen Allen, Jo Coke and Katie Campassi.
Other guests included Donna Killian, Rhonda Catanzaro, Cherie Martinez, Warren Mackey, Kristy Presley, Valerie Carnes, Amy Collet, Kathy York, Carol Alper, Teresa Jones, Lillie Wills, Cheryl Campbell, Amy Campbell, Melissa Youngblood, Kim Fookes, Valerie Rutledge, Marilyn Goler, Barby Wilson, Marguerite Hogan, Elizabeth Kramer, Rabbi Craig Lewis, Stephanie Crowe, last year’s honoree, and many others. Sonia was very moved by the outpouring of support she received, and of course, thanks everyone from the bottom of her purple heart!