Friday, January 25, 2013

A Beacon of Hope

Morehead City Marlins Honor Sally at their annual Hope Week ceremony

A mother, wife, friend, volunteer, teacher, leader, and more.  Sally Kelly, Beaufort, is a true “Beacon of Hope” to all who surround her.  Her hard work helped her to raise two successful and moral sons while still volunteering within her community.  Her greatest work now benefits our military communities—specifically the wounded, their families, and families of the fallen.  Sally has given hope and helps to thousands and inspires others to join in her own personal mission of hope.

As a single mom, Sally often worked two or more jobs while raising her sons to become responsible, hardworking leaders.  Early in her career, she ventured out of the traditional women’s fields to build an income that would enable her to put her boys through college.  She built a successful career as a mechanic and then later a Quality Assurance Specialist for the Department of Navy (DoN). As a woman breaking into a male-dominated field, she became an example of strength, excellence, and hope to other women in the community.  Early in her career, she was recognized as the Fleet Readiness Center-East’s Woman of the Year.  When she retired, she was still one of a just a handful of women within the DoN who inspected crucial jet engine components, including critical components used in the elite Presidential Helicopter Program.

Although Sally understood the importance of her role as breadwinner in her family, her work also focused on her sons’ activities, ambitions, and dreams.  The consummate Booster Club member, her example inspired her sons to their own levels of success.  Rick DySard (WCHS ‘86), rose to football team Captain and later established himself as a successful personnel placement specialist.  Tim DySard (WCHS ’87) established his prowess on the baseball field in high school and later as the owner of a successful software development corporation.  Endowed with more than a little of his mother’s drive, Tim led his Raleigh tennis team to state-level championships in 2009 and 2011.

Sally’s dedication to her country has inspired many with her own spark of hope.  The daughter of a WWII-Bronze Star-decorated soldier, she understands the contributions and sacrifices of the military and their families.  Her own dedication to the military did not end upon retirement after 36 years of civilian service within the DoN.  Since 2007, she has volunteered countless hours with Hope For the Warriors®, a national nonprofit organization that assists combat wounded service members and their families.  She has been recognized as one of the organization’s top volunteers.

Sally and her husband Paul have raised more than $48,000 in donations in their fundraising campaign they call “2008 Miles of Hope.”  The funds raised provide a full spectrum of rehabilitative and morale programs for our Nation’s wounded heroes and their families. 

Sally has also been recognized by the organization for her leadership within her women’s group, Beta Sigma Phi International.  Within her chapter, she has been the kindling spark beneath the group’s service project, “Carolinas’ Torch of Hope,” which has so far brought in over $25,000 in donations from chapters around the world to Hope For The Warriors®. 

Sometimes Sally is a Beacon of Hope, by simply supporting others.  As a spectator, she cheers from the sidelines, providing the hope and encouragement that people need.  She is often at Hope For The Warriors® events and races, cheering on the runners and volunteering to make the event a success.  She has been there for her own husband through 53 marathons and half marathons as he participates using a crank-wheelchair.

In 2011, she was not content to be on the sidelines. Sally decided to “go the extra mile” for our Nation’s wounded by running the Marine Corps Marathon with Team Hope For The Warriors®.  At an age when most women are curtailing their physical activities, Sally finished a HIGHLY respectable 30th in her age bracket in the largest amateur marathon in the world.

Sally is truly a Beacon of Hope within our community.  Her infectious enthusiasm brings light to the lives of everyone she meets.  Her tireless dedication to her community, her family, and above all, to our Nation’s wound heroes are an inspiration and example to us all.

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