Leadership

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Skotty has always been a leader, especially when it comes to things he loves and is passionate about. His positive leadership can be seen from the sidelines of a basketball game when he is coaching middle school boys to the stage when he is addressing a room of 400+ people gathered to support the charity he started. He truly enjoys sharing with others who want to learn and/or be a part of something he loves so much and is so passionate about.

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Skotty strives to perfection in everything he sets his mind and heart to. He wants to continue helping children and families who are impacted by a CHD and ultimately ensure they are able to not only take comfort in knowing research is being funded but to experience camp as close to a normal kid as possible. When he started Hands for Hearts, I truly believe he felt if he could change just ONE life... just ONE family in some positive way, he would realize success. Now that he has been able to impact so many kids and so many families, he just wants to help as many as possible.

Not only has Skotty been a true inspiration and mentor to the 6th, 7th and 8th graders he has coached over the past 11 years, but through the charity he started with another friend, he has raised over $300,000 in just 3 years towards helping children with Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs). He took the heart-wrenching situation of losing his best friend in a motorcycle accident and created a charity in his friend's memory, to help others. The monies have gone towards severely underfunded research as well as to help provide local children living with a CHD a summer camp experience.

I truly admire Skotty's incredible passion, his ability to remain humble in any situation and how he puts his heart 1 million percent into everything he does. He never puts himself first and just wants to make a difference in some way, but doesn't want or ask for anything in return. I am so incredibly proud of the difference he has made and continues to make in the lives of children and their families.

Since Hands for Hearts is still a fairly new charity, any and every additional amount that can be raised or donated helps the cause tremendously. However, Skotty has recently been approached by Duke Children's Hospital to help create a fellowship for new doctors who are working towards helping children with CHDs. This fellowship would be an incredible honor for Hands for Hearts to be a part of, and would be the first of its kind at Duke. In order to make it happen, though, Hands for Hearts would have to raise $75,000. The vast majority of the $300,000 raised to date has already gone towards grants which fund much needed research as well as to children to have a summer camp experience. This $50,000 would allow us to create the fellowship much sooner than expected and therefore start making an even bigger impact sooner as well.

Skotty really could fall into any of the characteristic categories, as he embodies each trait. I am beyond proud of what he has accomplished and the lives he has touched and changed. He is an incredible person and I wish there were more like him on this earth... I am just beyond lucky he is my husband and I can support his incredible passion and have a front seat to the ride. I would also like to say that it was suggested he nominate himself for this award, and though he would have done it just so he could have the chance to help the charity, he is too humble to have done it. I am glad I had the opportunity to brag on him a little!

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