ZTA Honors Sarah Patterson with Donation
The ZTA Foundation donated $25,000 to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund in honor of their 2012 Convention Initiate and keynote speaker, Sarah Patterson
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – When Sarah Patterson was asked to deliver the keynote address at the recent Zeta Tau Alpha national convention she was happy to accept the invitation from an organization that champions a cause near and dear to her heart.
In addition to holding its national convention, which comes once every two years, the ZTA community was also celebrating its 20th year in the fight against breast cancer with its Think Pink philanthropy. Patterson, whose Power of Pink initiative has helped raise more than $1.25 million in the fight against breast cancer in the Tuscaloosa area, was eager to address the group and arrived in Louisville speech in hand.
But when she got the convention the day before her speech, and attended some of the sessions and gatherings, she put aside her original talk and started over.
“I had the opportunity to take part in the convention prior to my talk and during that time, one of the themes that was brought out and tied into having the event in Louisville, was the Triple Crown,” Patterson said. “After learning that, and after being around these amazing women, I sat down and rewrote my speech.”
Patterson knows a thing or two about triple crowns, having coached the Alabama gymnastics to a trio of championship titles in both 1988 and 2011, but in 2012, she experienced a triple crown of another kind, a more personal, but no less satisfying trio of accomplishments, one based firmly in the things she is passionate about.
It started when she and her husband David coached Alabama to its sixth NCAA Gymnastics Championship and second in a row in April. Then, in June, she and David, along with their daughter Jessie Patterson Jones were on hand when younger daughter Jordan won an NCAA Championship of her own as part of the Alabama softball team.
Patterson’s latest triple crown culminated in Louisville, when she had the opportunity to share the story of the Power of Pink, which Patterson started nearly a decade ago and which has gone on to become a phenomenon not only in the West Alabama community, but nationwide.
She shared her message of lending a helping hand to those who need it while her daughter Jessie, a ZTA alumnae and current advisor, looked on, At the end of her speech, she brought the room filled with campus leaders from across the country to their feet, cheering through their tears.
“She made 850 women cry,” Jessie Jones said. “It was an amazing and powerful moment.”
Moments later, the ZTA community brought tears to Patterson’s eyes. She knew that she was being honored as the Convention’s Initiate, an honor that goes to one woman every two years, but she had no idea of what was coming after her speech was over.
When Patterson was done speaking, a member of the ZTA Foundation Board came from the end of the head table to microphone, and told Patterson and her audience that a vote had been taken and the ZTA Foundation would be donating $25,000 to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund.
“Zetas gathered in Louisville for the 2012 Convention were moved by Sarah and her passion for the fight against breast cancer,” Becky Kirwan, President of the ZTA Foundation said. “The Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation Board voted to contribute $25,000 toward her work with the Power of Pink. It was an honor to have Sarah join our sisterhood and the Convention body believed this was a good way to further the fight against this disease.”
For Patterson, it was a perfect way to cap the incredible series of moments that have come her way over the past year.
“I was so overwhelmed,” Patterson said. “I couldn’t fathom that they would make a donation of that magnitude. All I kept thinking about was the impact that donation would have on the lives of women in the Tuscaloosa community. It was the crowning moment of an amazing time.”
Appropriately enough, the ZTA Foundation will present the $25,000 donation on Friday, January 25, 2013 when Alabama hosts Kentucky for its annual Power of Pink meet.