Heart of the Community Award Nominations Being Sought

Nominations are being accepted for the annual program that honors individuals who have worked tirelessly to improve the community through volunteerism.

The Heart of the Community Foundation, Inc. and its Board of Governors are accepting nominations of potential recipients for the 35th anniversary of the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor.

The deadline for nominations is October 23, 2020.

According to David Brearley, Chairman of the Board of Governors, the awards committee searches for individuals who have given their time and talents to make this community a better place in which to live through their selfless dedication to volunteer and community service.

“Candidates who should be considered for the award are those “unsung heroes” who have distinguished themselves through volunteer services that have greatly impacted the lives of children, the elderly, disadvantaged, or the community-at-large. Their service could be in any or several of the following areas: education, religion, health and medicine, government, community, humanitarian, youth, arts, general leadership, retired/past service, conservation, or others,” or others he said.

Over the past 34 years approximately 260 individuals have received these prestigious awards. “In order for us to continue our long standing tradition of honoring some of Rome’s “unsung heroes”, we need the community to support our efforts by nominating deserving individuals that have touched their lives or the lives of others. When you look around at our community and see all that it has to offer, you know there are outstanding volunteers working diligently behind the scenes, don’t let a deserving individual go unnoticed because you thought someone else might nominate them,” noted Brearley.

Due to Covid-19 and the possibility of a virtual Program. We will only recognize 5 Awards of Honor this year. Information on how to connect to virtual program will be emailed the day of the event.

The five award recipients will be selected by an anonymous committee in November and announced in December or January. They will be honored at the 35th annual black tie event, ”Loving Hearts, Helping Hands”, to be held on February 27, 2021.

Nomination forms are available here, or the Heart of the Community Facebook page.

For questions or additional information: Call Wanda Whitten at 706 802-3924.

Redmond Regional Medical Center, the heart center of northwest Georgia, is the proud sponsor of the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor.

Brearley appointed 2019-2020 Chairman

David Brearley

David Brearley has been appointed chairman of the Heart of the Community Foundation Board of Governors for 2019-2020.

The Heart of the Community Awards recognition program is sponsored by Redmond Regional Medical Center and the Heart of the Community Foundation, Inc. and honors local citizens for their volunteer service to our community.

Recipients of the awards are honored at a black tie gala, Loving Hearts, Helping Hands, the 34th annual event will be held on Feb. 8 at the Forum River Center.


Proceeds from the event will be designated for heart education and safety programs in the Rome and Floyd County community. Previously funded projects have included the Heart House for families of critically ill patients on the Redmond campus, AED units in public facilities in Rome, a fitness course at Ridge Ferry Park, fitness equipment at the Thornton Center, swimming scholarships at the YMCA, exercise equipment for Summit Quest and grants to various humanitarian and heart related agencies in Rome and Floyd County.


He is an attorney at Brinson, Askew,Berry and has practiced law in Rome, Georgia for the past 12 years. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Rome where he teaches fifth and sixth grade Sunday School and was recently nominated to the board of deacons.

David has served on the board of directors for the Rome International Film Festival, the Free Clinic of Rome, and the Nine O’Clock Cotillion.


David’s wife, Carolyn Brearley, is a native of Rome and currently serves as the Director of Financial Aid for the Darlington School. They have two young children — Bennett and Walker.

Additional Heart of the Community Foundation Board members who assist in the event and the mission of the Foundation include:, Angie Beard, Kristy Brown, Steve Graves, Nancy Hunter, Judy Ingram, Dawn Irmscher, Chris Jackson, Mai Mai Kelly , Mandy Maloney, Charles Norris, Artagus Newel, Monisha Patel, Elaine Price, Mimi Richards, Pam Roberts, Lauren Sklar, David Smith, MeganTreglown and Esther Vaughn.


2020 Heart of the Community Awards of Honor Recipients

On February 8, 2020 10 of Rome’s “unsung” heroes will be honored at the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor gala called “An Affair of the Heart”. For 33 years, Redmond Regional Medical Center has been the presenting sponsor for these awards which recognize individuals whose commitment through volunteer service has made this community a better place n which to live, work and raise a family. 


The 2020 recipients include: 

Gordon Leiter-Board of Governors Award,

Whit Molnar, Young Heart Award

International Paper-Business Award and




Award of Honor Recipients:

Linda Hatcher

Jarrod Johnson

Peggy Nash

Dr. Ryland and Jennifer Scott

Willie Mae Samuel

Honorary Award Recipient, Dr. Daniel Goldfaden


For more information:  Wanda Whitten, 706-802-3924 or Heart of the Community Facebook.

Willie Mae Samuel, 2020 HOC Award Recipient

A native of Allendale, South Carolina, Willie Mae has been a resident of Rome And Floyd County for 50 years.

She received her undergraduate degree from Paine College in Augusta and her Master’s degree in English from Atlanta University with a concentration in African-American Studies.  She spent 31 years as a classroom teacher of high school English.

Since retirement she has involved herself in many phases of volunteer work.

           *Child Advocate for Youth Programs sponsored by her Sorority
           * Volunteer organizer and instructor for 100 Black Men’s Black History Bowl
           * Founder of Gateway Performing Arts Troup
           * Community Outreach Coordinator for Thankful Baptist Church Soup Kitchen
           * Director of Cultural Arts of Fairview/E.S. Brown Restoration Project
           *  Director of Fairview Glee Club Singers
           * Advisor for Domestic Violence Organization
           *  Assistant Program Coordinator-East Rome Association’s Senior Group at Fielder Center
           * Director of Friday Night Drama Presentations Martin Luther King Celebration
           *  Contributing Writer for Rome News Tribune
            *Director/Founder African American Connection for Performing Arts 2006-Presnt
            *Judge for League of Women Voters Annual Poetry Slam Contest
             * Board Member of the AHHA Organization in Cave Spring

Nominated by Quida Sams and Laney Stevenson “The word “love” is also an action word.  It is what it does. Willie Samuel-Sams loves this community and demonstrates this love in her daily living”.


Dr. Ryland and Jennifer Scott, 2020 HOC Award Recipients

Rome is very fortunate to have “Power Couples” in our community.

One such couple is Dr. Ryland and Jennifer Scott.

Together they have participated in the following
* 5 International Mission Trips to Guatemala, Honduras Mexico
* Board Members of Restoration Rome
* Foster Parents
* Founding Members of Young Life Ministry

Individually they also contribute:

Dr. Scott:
* Championed and Implemented ERAS protocol(Enhanced Surgical Recovery)
* Developed Bariatric Program in Rome
* Deacon, First Presbyterian Church

*Open Door Home board 2003-2017-Past Chair
*Several teaching and committee roles at First Presbyterian Church
* South Rome Redevelopment committee 2017
*Fundraising for South Rome Early Learning Center
* Community Foundation of Greater Rome Grant Committee
* Mentor to Moms n Recovery
* Heart Walk Committee Honoree 2008
* Heart of the community Young Heart 2010

One nominator said of them” They make a wonderful married team raising triplets of their own.  Through public speaking and private counsel. Many couples have benefited from their openness of marriage and realities of raising kids”