Celebrating those who give of themselves.
By Judith Lawrenson
Photography by Bill Lawrenson
On the surface, Amy Metzger looks like an ordinary, although beautiful, woman. But join with me to go a little deeper to discover a heart as big as some of the trees she attends to at The Greenery, where she works.
Pink: Amy, I like to ask about how and when you came to Hilton Head. What is your “arrival story?”
Amy: My husband and I moved to Hilton Head in 1986. That makes me a real old-timer, I guess. I worked at Hilton Head Hospital in the public relations department. That is where Rose Fotia, founder of The Children’s Relief Fund, and I first met. Amy told me things were small in those days, including the hospital. She said that it was more like a big family than a workplace. Both expecting, Amy and Rose formed a close and lasting friendship.
Pink: Give readers some insight into yourself.
Amy: Well, I work full-time at The Greenery, which is an employee owned landscape company located on Highway 278 on Hilton Head Island. I really enjoy being around the plants and trees. Spending time with my husband and family also gives me great pleasure. My family consists of my husband Tom, and our children Sam, 24; Katy, 22; and Sarah, 16. I also love to cook. Like many others here, I am a bicyclist and especially a beach walker. How beautiful is that?
Pink: Share your feelings about The Children’s Relief Fund.
Amy: The Children’s Relief Fund benefits disabled children. We provide financial assistance to special needs children in the Lowcountry community. We serve both Hilton Head and Bluffton. We are proud to be 100 percent volunteer. Our monies go to help special needs children and their families with the expenses of equipment, therapies and much more. Funding request forms are available to residents of Hilton Head and Bluffton. When a request is submitted, our board reviews and decides on approval.
Pink: How do you raise funds?
Amy: Our big fundraiser is in February and it is called “Straight From The Heart.” It will be held at the Sonesta Resort in Shipyard Plantation on Hilton Head Island this year. It is truly a fabulous evening of dinner, dancing and a live and silent auction. All proceeds go directly to the fund. We love to share this evening and it is at a beautiful setting.
There are other components of our fundraising and it is hard to pinpoint just one. We have a Christmas card fundraiser at Indigo Run Plantation that has been a huge success for many years. The Heritage Classic Foundation, the Wexford Plantation Charitable Foundation, the Italian-American Club and our local chapter of the Knights of Columbus help us, too. There are so many great people and great organizations that have been there to support our mission. We are so very grateful for all of the love and caring that is shown by these people and organizations.
Pink: I know you were an early member of the board of directors, but you have also had a part in another very touching thing that has been a little known part of our Island. Will you talk about that?
Amy: I have been a member of the board of directors of the Children’s Relief Fund for over 20 years, since its inception. My role is to offer support and advice to families and to spread the word about our mission. I also put together our annual newsletter.
I am also very proud of the creation of the Children’s Memorial Garden. It is on the campus of the Hilton Head Hospital. It is a very beautiful and tranquil garden that is dedicated to children who have passed.
My friends, Julie Feldman and Marie Nicksa, and I partner with the hospital to make it a reality. My first son Jacob was stillborn, and this garden is dedicated to him and to all the other children who have passed. It is a place of repose, comfort and hope. Children should not be taken from us, but suffering is sometimes a fact of life that we must learn to handle. Come to this garden if you have suffered a loss, and simply be at peace here for a while.
What a perfect start to this new column to recognize those who selflessly serve others with little thought of thanks or reward. Stay tuned as the months pass to see other local women who give of themselves to help others featured here.
Children’s Relief Fund
Founder Rose Fotia speaks about Amy
“I first met Amy Metzger about 28 years ago when we both worked at Hilton Head Hospital. We became close when we learned we were both pregnant. She was always so sweet and everybody loved her. Sadly, Amy lost her baby and my son was diagnosed with a severe seizure disorder called West Syndrome. When Gregory was 3 years old, I decided to start a nonprofit organization for children with disabilities, since there were no programs available on the Island at that time. That was the start of The Children’s Relief Fund and Amy was one of my first choices to serve on our board of directors. She has remained an important board member for 23 years! She is a true gift to our organization." To learn more on the Children’s Relief Fund go to www.thechildrensrelieffund.org
UPCOMING FUNDRAISING EVENTS:
Jan. 30: Sporting Clays Shoot, Forest City Gun Club, Savannah
Feb 14: “Straight From the Heart” Valentine’s Dinner Dance, Sonesta Resort, HHI
To join in or for more information email Rose at rfotia333@ Yahoo.com