TBBCF supporter honored for her community service
Julie Holland receives Athena Award
By KATHLEEN EDGECOMB
Julie Holland of Stonington, a longtime supporter of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, joined a dynamic group of like-minded women when she was recently honored with the 2022 Athena Award by the Ocean Community Chamber Foundation.
Holland is the fifth person in the last eight years who is associated with TBBCF to receive the award. She donated $600 of her $1,000 award to the foundation. The other $400 was designated for the American Heart Association.
She joins Sandy Maniscalco, co-founder of the TBBCF, who was honored in 2014; Marcie Brensilver, a founding member who was honored in 2016; Tricia Cunningham who received the award in 2018 and is a member of the board of directors; and Susette Tibus, the owner of Simply Majestic Jewelers and a years-long financial supporter and advocate for the foundation. Tibus received the honor in 2021. Read Strong Women Stick Together
Maniscalco, one of several speakers to honor Holland during a reception and dinner Nov. 30, 2022 at Lake of Isles Golf Club, said Holland is an unstoppable force for the greater good.
“You are an Athena. Your superpower is your unique ability to make each of us feel like we are the most important person in the world, and your ability to inspire us to try our best to make a difference,” Maniscalco said.
She said she has learned so much from her friend and has witnessed her courage first hand
“Sometimes heroes face situations without fear or despite fear,” she said, recalling a time when the two women were having coffee out, and a belligerent patron was giving the staff a hard time. Holland jumped up from her seat, stood in front of the antagonistic customer and asked the workers if they were ok.
“There were a number of outcomes possible in that situation,” Maniscalco recalled. “Luckily, she scared the guy and he left. I was speechless. The women behind the counter were so grateful.”
Nonprofits have also benefited from her philanthropy, including the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, the Mystic River Boathouse Park project and the Westerly Library. She was one of the driving forces in bringing the Light It Up Blue to Support Autism Awareness in the area.
Carole Nossek, who serves on the Stonington Beautification committee with Holland, said she “shines as a kind hearted person.”
“She embodies beauty inside and out,” Nossek said.
Stonington First Selectwoman, Danielle Chesebrough, said Holland is an “all-around human being.”
“Your warmth and compassion is felt in everything you do,” Chesebrough said.
Holland has been involved with TBBCF since 2013 and has coordinated the Pink Ladies/Pink Football event, supported the Tickled Pink event and recruited many auction items to raise funds for the organization, which gives 100 percent of fundraising dollars to breast cancer research.
“She is our shining star in our community,” said Konicki, who is president of Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce and the Ocean Community Chamber Foundation.
In accepting the award and the accolades, Holland urged those who were there to surround themselves with positive people and to share their stories as a way to advocate for others.
The Athena Award was invented in 1992 in Lansing, MI to recognize outstanding business and professional women in the community, and to help create leadership opportunities for them. The award recognizes and celebrates creativity and initiative in those who help others reach their leadership potential.
The Westerly Sun 2022 Athena Awards Photos – Tim Martin, The Westerly Sun