Gibbons wins Broyhill Lifetime Achievement

May. 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

Becky Gibbons received the Satie Broyhill Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday for her volunteer work and love of Caldwell County.

Gibbons, wife of Mayor Joseph Gibbons of the City of Lenoir, was born and grew up in Caldwell County. She was an elementary school teacher for 35 years. Now, she volunteers with and serves on boards for numerous organizations such as the Caldwell County Schools system, the Wig Bank of Caldwell County, Robin’s Nest and Communities in Schools.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Gibbons said when she accepted the award, “I’m very humbled to receive this award. I felt there were so many people way more deserving than me, but to receive an award named for Ms. Satie is just amazing. She was just an epitome of a lady and a hero. I loved her so much.”

The award, given annually by the Caldwell County Council for Women, recognizes individuals for contributions to Caldwell County with the philosophy of life that Satie Broyhill lived by.

The Caldwell County Council for Women also honored the Wig Bank, and this year, not only made a donation but honored its co-founder and current owner of The Bold and Beautiful Salon.

David Icard received a certificate of appreciation for his creation of the Wig Bank and endless time spent helping community members with cancer. Kay Roukema, president of the Caldwell County Council for Women, called the Wig Bank “a haven of hope,” which was “born because one man had the courage to step forward.”

Guest speaker Kimberly Rae, who has written several novels about characters involved in human trafficking, discussed how Caldwell County is helping those hurt by human trafficking. Rae said there are currently 20 million slaves throughout the world, including the United States. Rae said that Caldwell County is helping stop the problem at the source through the Robin’s Nest, which works with abused children.

“The way you’re fighting this is by rescuing the children. The more I study this, the more I research, the more I train, the more I have discovered, there is a huge connection between trafficking victims and victims of sexual abuse,” Rae said.

Rae said that victims of sexual abuse are “vulnerable,” and a trafficker realizes that this vulnerability is something he can exploit.

“The shelter home and places like Robin’s Nest and other places that are helping children out of those situations by giving them their dignity back and giving them their word and helping them to think of themselves as people again instead of just usable products, you take away that much of a percentage of them being targets in the future,” Rae said. “So all along, you’ve been fighting human trafficking in probably a way you’ve never even knew it, and so I say thank you for that.”