On the eve of his 42nd birthday, Colorado Rockies pitcher LaTroy Hawkins was with his entrepreneur/author wife Anita Hawkins and daughter Troi Hawkins at Victor Hugo’s VH Casual Dining in Oak Cliff. The occasion wasn’t an early birthday party. It was the kick-off party for Anita’s project —Find One Reason To Smile.
Founded in November, the program is “an inspiring Facebook community where uplifting messages are shared daily among the almost 800 members.”
According to Anita, “One Reason to Smile is something given to me by God, that He put on my heart to share with others,” says Hawkins. “We are bombarded by so many horrible things in the news media on a daily basis, but I know that every individual out there has at least one reason to smile, something to be grateful for, and I wanted to build a community where people could share their reasons for joy and be encouraged by others.”
When “dozens of posts” started coming in daily, she launched “an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to compile these personal stories into a coffee table book with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit the Women Called Moses Coalition and Outreach Center.”
In addition to dining on calamari fries, sweet potato johnny cakes and shrimp and melon ceviche, guests donated funds and “visited the videographer station where they share their One Reason to Smile.”
Guests included Women Called Moses Executive Director Debra Bowles, Susan Norvell, Kendyl Zimmerman, Osasu Woghiren, Jerricka Kelly, Brandon McIntosh, Nicole Reusser, Tricia Washington, Kim Hanrahan, Shanan Wilkerson-Brown, Kristin Smith, MaRiya Jenkins, Esther and Patrick Hubbard, Dianna Johnson, Tyeesha Holt and Kevin Crank.
* Photos provided by Find One Reason To Smile