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The Lompoc Vision

“Good News You Can Use.”

8

We are all teachers and yet we are all students when we allow ourselves to witness another’s story. I

truly believe that everyone has a story of interest with lessons we can learn from and be inspired by. I

know I have experienced this with many different people throughout my life. People that have given me

hope or insight into how things can be better. Sometimes they have been the light on the path when there

is darkness, the encouraging word to believe in myself when I didn’t, but more often than not, they have

shown me a different way to approach this thing we call life and for that I am eternally grateful. These are

my heroes and sadly, many don’t know how they have touched me. Most don’t know how they have been

someone I have looked up to and admired, unknowingly prompting me to go beyond my fears and self

inflicted limitations to do better. To be better.

Despite my personal experiences, I have heard many bemoan the fact that we have a lack of present day

heroes. I am convinced this is not true. I believe there are many heroes that walk among us daily, unrecognized and unacknowledged. I

am convinced we would see them clearly if only we knew their stories. I also have faith that we can all be heroes in our own lives with

a little guidance because even the superheroes from the Marvel universe need help from others at times. For these reasons I will be

shining the light on my heroes. Thanking them for how they have impacted my life and telling their story so that others may be inspired

and encouraged. I hope you enjoy these stories and that you are able to recognize and thank the heroes in your life, including yourself.

‘We can all be heroes of our own narrative.’ -Deepak Chopra

CELEBRATING OUR HEROES

H

er petite stature belies the underlying strength and convic-

tion with which Lucy Thoms-Harrington experiences life.

Indeed, on our initial meeting, I noticed her calm brown

eyes and easy smile but these were accompanied by a presence

that meant business. It wasn’t a ‘get out of my way’ impression

but rather an ‘I am here and we’re getting things done together’

presence. For several years my encounters with Lucy were brief,

(she was working full-time and then some with travel thrown in

on a regular basis) however, this consistent strength and convic-

tion to her belief system was apparent. The truth was important to

her. Fair and equitable treatment for everyone was paramount. And

women’s rights? Ask her a question or address something about

women’s rights and the passion in her voice and the light in her

eyes many times communicated more about how she felt than the

words themselves.

I have been fortunate to spend more time with Lucy in the past

few years since she retired from her ‘real’ job and moved to con-

sulting, though I would argue the tasks she tackles now are often

more real to her than the job from which she received a paycheck.

She works with several nonprofits as well as the school district in

our community making things better for those most in need. The

youth of our community, particularly young girls, have her heart

but she also has time for the elderly and our retired service people,

working tirelessly each year for the Veterans Stand Down event.

Every task, every fundraiser, every challenge I have witnessed her

handle has been with grace, a can do attitude and unflagging en-

ergy. I have learned much listening to and watching her navigate

the landscape of community, nonprofits and large business. She stands true to her convictions, cooperatively seeking solu-

tions. For these reasons I asked Lucy to share with me some of the people and incidents that shaped who she is so that I

might learn more about her.

Lucy is from a family of six and, not surprisingly, one of the first events in her life that set her on the path she has taken,

was in observing her mother take on the administration at Lucy’s high school. The story begins when, despite represent-

ing the school on the girls tennis team, Lucy is not invited to the sports banquet to recognize athletes as her brother, a

football player, is. Traditionally only male athletes, their teams and coaches were invited to the banquet. Her mother first

spoke with the Athletic Director of the school requesting action to rectify the situation. She was told this is how it was

always done and then referred to the Vice Principal. Not willing to let things stand and after researching the newly passed

Title IX, equity for girls/women in sports, Lucy’s mom met with the Vice Principal. She demanded the athletic banquet

follow the parameters of Title IX. Thus the sports banquet that year honored and recognized all the student athletes, teams

and coaches, regardless of gender. And so Lucy’s first lesson in standing up for fair and equitable treatment was learned,

though it took a year or so before she was proud of her mom and recognized the impacts of this change.

Another event that stands out to Lucy which she shared with me occurred early in her career. She was working in a

field in which women in leadership were rare and found herself at a conference. There were 500 people in attendance at

this conference of which only three were women. Of the three, Lucy was one. Couple that with not knowing a soul and it

is a rather intimidating experience. At the break both of the other women reached out to Lucy offering assistance and ul-

by Robin Dunaetz

(continued on page 10)