SPRINGVILLE — The title of Distinguished Young Woman of St. Clair County is one that can mean a variety of things, depending on who is holding the title.
“It is a really great program,” said this year’s winner, Springville’s Lacey Gossett. “Everybody who participates takes something from it.”
For Gossett, it means a chance to give back.
Gossett won first place at the 2013 St. Clair County DYW competition in June, and will compete in the statewide DYW in June of 2013. The Springville High senior said the title is an opportunity for her to serve her community.
“Being involved is something I really wanted to focus on,” Gossett told the members of the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce last week. “Serving my community means so much to me.”
Gossett lists the following projects on the state’s DYW website:
• Children’s Health System Volunteer (127 hours).
• Children’s Miracle Network (56 hours).
• Headed YUDA Band drive (45 hours).
• Relay-for-Life (15 hours).
• Kuddles-4-Kids (95 hours).
“Kuddles-4-Kids is a personal service project I started about 2 years ago,” Gossett said. “I collect new or gently used stuffed animals to be donated to Children’s Hospital pediatric imaging department. I have collected and donated over 2,500 stuffed animals.
“Kuddles-4-Kids has been several church toy drives, SHS Key Club service project, SMS Jr. Beta Club service project, and with numerous donations from family, friends and residents from all over Alabama.”
She also hopes to spread the word to encourage others to serve.
“Everything starts at home,” Gossett said. “There’s a real need for us to encourage and push others in community service.”
As part of spreading that word, Gossett set a specific goal: to start a Kiwanis Club in Springville, and hopefully spread it around St. Clair County. Gossett is familiar with Kiwanis as president of the Springville High School Key Club.
Currently, only Pell City has a chapter of Kiwanis.
“Hopefully other cities will also want to participate,” Gossett said. “Right now Springville, Moody and Pell City are the only schools in the county that have a Key Club.
“There is a real need for us to push community service in our schools. It helps you grow and helps you give back to the community.
“I’m hoping to teach my peers and be a role model to everyone. I can’t wait to represent you at the state DYW in June.”