Lee and Bob Woodruff are an amazing couple. Their lives seemed like the stuff that Cinderella and Prince Charming dreamed about. Drop-dead gorgeous anchorman who had earned his position over years of hard work. She was not only adorable, but she was as sharp as a Louboutin heel and the mom of four kiddos.
Then the anchorman’s inner-self reporter reared its head and caused him to venture to where the story was in 2006 in Iraq. An explosion, a piece of rock jettisoning into his head and the idyllic life of the Woodruffs dramatically changed. Others would have cashed in their chips and claimed insurance and any other perks possible.
But we’re talking about Lee and Bob Woodruff, who are made of tougher stuff. They proved to be the poster couple of the “Ain’t no mountain high enough” anthem.
It seemed only right since one of the day’s honorees were Jan and Fred Hegi, who had met 45 years ago on a Kappa/Fiji work day and have continued their work to help others in Dallas ever since.
Oh, and did you know in addition to the Hegis celebrating their 45th year together, Contact has been hard at work helping fellow citizens through crisis and suicide for 45 years?
At the Contact patron reception and the luncheon at the Hilton Anatole, they greeted everyone of note (Gail and Gerald Turner, Leigh Anne Haugh revealing that the baby bump was going to be a girl, Nancy Hunt, Ashlee Kleinert, Jan Langbein, Kristina Whitcomb, Pat McEvoy, Claire Emanuelson, Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro, Frank Risch, Linda Custard just back from traveling the world with her daughter and Ron Anderson) with grace and under-the-radar humor.
At one point Lee and Bob exchanged a comment. She patted his rear end, like some of us pat someone on the back. When told how endearing the “hand language” was, Bob said, “Really? I must have a dumb ass because I didn’t feel anything.” He quickly followed that comment up with a smirk and a twinkle of the eye.
When you looked upon Bob, you saw two sides — one was a too-gorgeous anchorman and the other was a person who had experienced the scars of war.
On the other hand, Lee showed only once side — an adoring, intelligent and protective wife and mom.
During the talk in the Khmer Pavilion, a video on Bob’s 2006 incident and recovery was shown. Following the touching video, Lee dismissed all sainthood with good humor, saying that while others had watched the segment in which their children were working with Bob on how to speak, she was focused on the youngster who was picking her nose and digesting the contents.
In the audience for the talk was the honoree couple, Jan and Fred, along with fellow honoree Doug Hawthorne representing Texas Health Resources. Fred told the crowd how during his and Jan’s manning the Contact phones, the most poignant call came from a woman who had recently gone through a divorce, lost her job and was facing foreclosure. After talking with the Contact counselor, who had provided her with assistance in pulling her life together, the caller admitted that she had originally decided that this was to be her last call before ending her life.
Contact once again made a life-changing difference and the Woodruffs, Hegis and Texas Health Resources helped raised funds to continue their work to help others.