My Friend and Mentor Laura Hewitt

Dear Dad:

It is about time I write about a female in my blog that has influenced and impacted my life. It is not like I don’t have any. The scary thing is, I have too many to know where to start.

But I do know where to start. I have been fortunate to have a lot of motherly figures in my life, including my own mom. But someone who has had such a huge, huge loving impact on me is Laura Hewitt. For those who really know Laura, she is the most motherly person there is. She was created to be a mom, not only to her kids but to their kids, which makes up a small army at this point. She would do anything for them, travels anywhere to help care for them and really cares about their well beings. She wants the very, very best for her family.

How I got adopted in her life, I am not fully sure but have to thank the Festival and specifically Nathalie Dupree (another impactful person to me) and God. I believe everything happens for a reason and Laura became part of my world right when I needed her.

First she was (and is) a huge reason the Festival is so successful today. She is an original Board member and our only Chair Emeritus member. She has given and raised thousands and thousands for the organization, helped get us out of the red financially and helped create a thriving, well run machine. She works tirelessly for the Festival and for Charleston with the only motive to make it a better place to live, work and raise a family. She has no other reasons for what she has done for us and for several other non-profits except that she is that great of a person. Her and her husband Bill are some of the most charitable and hard-working community leaders I have ever met. We are so lucky to have them a part of the community.

But for me, she is much more than that. She is my angel. She helped lift me up and grow me professional in the early days of the Festival when I wanted to do nothing but give up. Egos were starting to wear on me and politics were getting the best of me. She would not let me give up and only encourage me to grow from it and become stronger from it.

She also did everything she could to see me have a healthy and thriving family. When I first announced my pregnancy, she was probably the first to get me a present. She helped me learn how to feed, care and love my baby boys. She encouraged me to take more time off to spend with them and made sure I got plenty of rest during my pregnancy. She really was a mother helping me get through the tough times.

Even though we see less of each other now, I still think of Laura daily. She is someone who will always have a profound impact on me and I can attribute so much goodness because of her. I can only hope I will be as cool, honest, smart, charming, sophisticated, fun-loving, free-spirited as her when I have grandkids.

AP

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