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Join Us for Our Grand Re-Opening in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Leeza’s Care Connection, a free resource center for caregivers, will reopen the Michael J. and Mary Meech Mungo home, with an open house on Feb. 19 and a celebration on Feb. 20.

The center, which opened in July 2016, was destroyed last May when a tree fell on the building during severe thunderstorms. After relocating to St. Mary’s Church for seven months, the center is ready for its re-opening.

To continue fundraising efforts, Leeza’s Care Connection will be selling metal engraved leaves for the new Family Tree project displayed in the center.

“We are grateful to be back home and can’t wait to share our new Family Tree made from the actual oak that did the damage,” said Leeza Gibbons founder and CEO. “The tree did fall forward to become a symbol of giving.”

The Feb. 19 open house will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Guests will be able to tour the
renovated center and learn about the services before the celebration.

The Feb. 20 celebration will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and will
feature a red carpet entry. Gibbons will join the celebration and give the gratitude champagne toast.

Both events will take place at 201 St. Andrews Rd.

Those who are interested in participating in the Family Tree fundraiser can purchase a metal engraved leaf at the event or by calling 803-888- 7525.

Leeza Gibbons and Mark Steines look forward to their second year announcing the Rose Parade

Imagine having to spend your first day on a new job with 47 million people across America watching you. Add in tens of millions more viewing you from countries worldwide, and it would be easy to feel a lot of pressure. 

Mark Steines and Leeza Gibbons faced just that dilemma with aplomb on New Year’s Day, when the “Entertainment Tonight” veterans took over the duties of announcing the Rose Parade from veteran cohosts Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards after they spent more than 30 years at the helm of the KTLA Channel 5-based broadcast. 

With that high-stakes debut behind them, the dynamic duo is eagerly awaiting their chance to shine on Monday, when they again guide viewers through two hours of spectacular floats and marching bands. 

“Now we get it and can anticipate what the vibe is going to be,” says Gibbons. “It’s really a matter of ‘prepare, prepare, prepare’ and then stand by for spontaneity, because if you prepare, you can protect the overall product.”

“It goes a lot faster than you realize because you have to be on point the entire time,” adds Steines. “There’s constant changes, so much to see, so much to do, and nobody wants you talking over all who worked so hard to be there. It takes a vast understanding of the entire show from front to end to really have comprehension of it all.”

 One big factor in their success was their ability to build off their long-standing chemistry from “Entertainment Tonight.” Following Eubanks and Edwards after more than three decades of ribbing each other, they had an instant sense of humor together. 

“You can’t contrive it,” explains Gibbons. “We respect each other and have fun. We’re just like siblings supporting each other.”

“I think we worked out of fear last year, and our whole thing was ‘Let’s just get through this alive,’” says Steines. “We are supposed to have a long-standing relationship with the parade, but our chemistry will develop. We both come from the same backgrounds in some of these areas. I think we’ll find our own style, but it’s once a year so we can’t invent it organically.” 

One potentially surprising aspect of the job is the amount of prep work that is required for the hosts. They not only have to gather and learn research about every one of the nearly 50 parade floats and their participants, but they also attend the ceremony announcing the Rose Queen and the Royal Court in addition to spending several days visiting the places where the floats are created and stored in order to gain an in-depth familiarity with them. 

“We are able to go to all the barns where they built the floats, so this year we know how to zone in on details and extract stories from the behind-the-scenes experience,” says Gibbons. “We spend lots of days with the staff at the Tournament House, with its president, float designers, white suiters and volunteers. We do try to get indoctrinated to it all because it’s a big source of national pride.”

“I wanted to have a deeper understanding of how the floats are made and constructed, when the flowers are brought in, all the different things used to make and decorate these floats,” says Steines. “It only grounds us. Some families have done this for decades, this is their tradition, and I came in wearing the hat as host. I have a big responsibility to absorb the entire parade start to finish and still pass info along to the audience within a small amount of time.”  

The pair follow not only in the tradition of Eubanks and Edwards, but also prior announcers including Dick Enberg, the veteran NBC sports announcer who won an Emmy for his work on the parade in 1974 and died on Dec. 21. KTLA has broadcast the parade since 1948. 

They are also excited to be working with this year’s grand marshal, actor Gary Sinise. Steines in particular expressed admiration for his work with veterans. 

“Gary Sinise could not be a better selection as grand marshal once you look at what he does with his free time, if he has any,” says Steines. “On Jan. 1, we’re all here celebrating what this great nation is about. There are troops on bases around the world tuning in to share with the nation on this day. He talked about how they changed one of the speed bumps outside his house to call it the Gump Bump. 

“I love that Gary Sinise took a platform that he had and was known for and continued to make a difference,” Steines continues. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a standing ovation from the crowd.” 

Leeza Gibbons On Being A Caregiver—And Her Advice For Avoiding Burnout And Regret

Leeza Gibbons on being a caregiver

Many of us know Leeza Gibbons as co-host of Entertainment Tonight—a primetime posting she held for nearly two decades.

But Gibbons has also hosted her own daytime talk show, written a New YorkTimes bestseller, and taken home top prize on Celebrity Apprentice after raising more than $700,000 for her non-profit, Leeza’s Care Connection. Gibbons started her caregiver-focused charity after caring for her own mother, who endured a fatal struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevention: Can you tell me about your personal experience as a caregiver?

Leeza Gibbons: I’m really proud to be among the many family caregivers out there. I always say we are the health care system in our country. This situation is not anyone’s definition of “happily ever after,” but so many people rise to become much more resilient and stronger because of these challenges. I know I did.

My family’s experience started with my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. You would have thought we’d be prepared because we saw my mother’s mother with the same disease. But we got overwhelmed and felt helpless. My mother, like her own mother, struggled for more than a decade. She died in 2008. And then my dad—we never knew until he had a heart attack that he had coronary artery disease. He had complications from his by-pass surgery and was in rehab for a long time, so we’ve had a different experience with him that continues to this day.

MORE: 5 Surprising Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Throughout our caregiving, my siblings and our spouses have become very close, and that’s not always the case. Often, all the skeletons come tumbling out and it can be very difficult. But, we were fortunate in that we all had different things we offered to make it better. It is hard for some families to stay together on this. There’s always someone in a different place than you creating conflict or denial. It’s just the way it goes. So I always try to remind people, when that’s happening, the rest of the family is still hurting, even the ones acting out. Being flexible and forgiving—the two best F-words—are important, otherwise anger and disappointment can eat you up.

You know, going through this can feel like you’re on a sinking ship in the middle of an ocean, and you’re just abandoned by everything and everyone. That’s why I created my non-profit. It is so others experiencing this can find the help they need on this journey.

Leeza Gibbons on being a caregiver

PVN: What kind of support or guidance does Leeza’s Care Connection offer caregivers?

LG: First, we connect them with others who’ve had or are having the same experiences, and I think that makes the whole journey much more supportive, manageable and rewarding. It also helps them plan and know what to expect, whether their journey is in the early stages or later on. We give family members tools and strategies to help them be more confident and competent.

MORE: 10 Things Every Alzheimer’s Caregiver Needs To Know

PVN: What kind of specific help or advice does the charity offer?

LG: Everything from education and access to experts, to therapeutic survival strategies such as Dance Therapy and journaling. We help families know they are not alone and that they can get through it without unraveling.

It is a tremendous blessing when families know the desires of their loved ones. We get so freaked out by these sorts of discussions that we just avoid them. So we try to help encourage the conversations. The very best thing we can do when our families are healthy is to make those conversations not so precious and so off-limits. Nothing is more relevant. So I’ve tried to do that with my kids—frequently let them know, and also write down, what my desires are and my hopes are.

Through our foundation, we encourage people to come up with a “five-wishes” list. It includes helpful questions and guidelines like, “What’s important for them in case they can no longer communicate?” It covers everything from the legal side and medical directives, to how one likes their hair brushed, their favorite music, and even the preferred smell of lotions. Whatever it is, the things that make one feel comforted. It helps guide people to be as specific as they can be, because that’s tremendously helpful later on for their caregivers.

MORE: This Is What It’s Like To Be Your Husband’s Caregiver

PVN: I would think starting those types of conversations would be very difficult for some families.

LG: Absolutely. With some families, we’ve found that they find it easier to print out something like an article on caregiving, and say, “Dad did you see this?” It can help to make it about someone else, and then backdoor into it. But for other families, the opposite approach works: let’s get everyone together and have a family meeting.

There are very unique and individual recipes for success. With people from the Greatest Generation, there’s a lot of pride and honor and respect for roles and hierarchy and protocol. And all that needs to be considered. It can be very easy to cross a boundary and shut things down, and so we offer help with all that.

Leeza Gibbons on being a caregiver

PVN: With some in the Baby Boomer Generation now entering their last stage of life, I would think the issue of caregiver support would become even more important.

LG: In the past decade or so, I think this has become an issue of great relevance, and a key to our national health agenda. Better educated and better supported caregivers create better outcomes for care-receives, and this also mitigates the devastating effects of compassion fatigue, or what’s sometimes called “the worried-well,” like me. My mom had Alzheimer’s, my dad has heart disease, what’s going to happen to me? We need to keep that caregiver population from declining.

You know, we can’t cure many of these diseases. And for some like Alzheimer’s, we don’t even really have treatments. But we can look at the health of caregivers and do things for them. We know stress is a great risk factor for many diseases, and depression and isolation are also a factor, all of which are risks for caregivers. So there’s a lot we can do to deal caregivers a better hand.

MORE: 10 Silent Signals You’re Too Stressed Out

PVN: Like what?

LG: We want to encourage people to almost be their own best coach. Who’s on my team and who can help? You know, many hands make light work, and that’s true with caregiving especially. There are often many people who will help even though they’re maybe not family members, and so we don’t think about them. We can also spend so much time being angry or resentful of family members who maybe aren’t doing as much as we think they should. But that’s such a waste and a diversion from just getting on with it. So we really need to be honest about who’s out there, and we need to be comfortable asking for help, which is a big skill most of us just don’t have.

So we encourage people to have answers when people offer help. Know your needs, and record them somewhere. There are great apps for that now. CareCalendar.org is one of them. You can put in what you and your loved ones need, and invite friends and family to join the calendar. It will save you time, and it gives the people you know a list of things to do on certain days, and a way to sign up. It’s almost like an old-school potluck where everyone chips in.

MORE: 6 Better Things To Say To A Struggling Friend Than ‘Let Me Know If I Can Do Anything’

PVN: What other advice do you have for caregivers?

LG: You can’t make this thing perfect, and it won’t always be a good day. You will mess up and fail. It’s inevitable. But for many caregivers, that’s the part they find unacceptable to deal with.

 

Leeza Gibbons on being a caregiver

PVN: What day-to-day advice would you offer caregivers—little things that can help them get through it?

LG: I can’t stress enough how important it is to take short breaks throughout the day. We forget that when we’re sleep deprived and dealing with an abundance of stress, we are likely taking shallow breaths. We need to take deep breaths to oxygenate the brain. We also need to keep moving throughout the day—even for five minutes now and then. That really is going to be a huge benefit.

MORE: The Amazing Health Benefits Of Walking Outside Every Day

Also, aim for the B+. Perfect really is the enemy of good with caregiving. If you aim for the gold star every time, you will always feel like a failure. You need to know that everybody in this role feels guilty. If you’re feeling guilty because you’re impatient with a loved one, that’s a good thing to examine and try to change. But guilt with no constructive underbelly—guilt about a situation you can’t change—don’t put that on yourself. That doesn’t do you any good.

Another thing that’s very therapeutic—either with yourself and your loved one, or with the bigger family or group—is to get people together to talk about what you all love about each other. At Leeza’s Care Connection, one of our 10 Commandments of Caregiving is to honor sacred memories. So we recommend bringing in memorabilia like a flag or a record album, birth announcements… just little things that stimulate conversations. Especially if your loved one has dementia, it’s urgent that you go on record with your feelings and talk about the value of your loved one’s life and their legacy. We do it through a program called Memories Matter, where family members basically interview each other, but anyone can do this with a phone camera.

MORE: 7 Little Ways To Help Someone With Dementia Right Now

If you can record these things, that’s so valuable. People always tell me, the sound of a loved one’s voice and laughter is something that changes over the course of chronic illness. To be able to have that on record, and to use that as a reset is really a lovely thing. So any kind of video diaries or journaling is all very therapeutic when you’re caregiving and trying to remember your loved one, and also while you’re grieving after loss. Whenever you can, focus on what’s left instead of what’s lost.

Leeza’s 6 Tips for Family Caregivers

Leeza Gibbons with her father

Don’t neglect your own health when taking care of others.

Caregiving is a role that takes many people by surprise. The financial and emotional toll of assisting a sick or aging loved one seems to rise every year, according to several studies. Now, an estimated 90 million Americans provide unpaid caregiving that covers a variety of ailments from cancer and Alzheimer’s to stroke, and much more.Author and talk show host Leeza Gibbons has firsthand experience with taking care of a loved one. She has been a family caregiver for more than a decade. Through her work with Leeza’s Care Connection, she’s both served and learned from thousands of caregivers from around the country. November is National Family Caregivers Month, which gives us the opportunity to recognize and honor the important role family members, friends and neighbors play in caring for loved ones. This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock,” and we had the chance to ask Leeza to share wisdom for caregivers juggling the tasks of caring for their loved ones as well as for themselves.

Here are her six most important pieces of advice for caregivers, whether they are just starting out or already in the thick of it.

1. Prepare for your role as caregiver, and own it.

“The first thing to recognize is, odds are, you will be caring for someone, or someone will be caring for you at some point. Now is the time to begin having conversations with your loved ones. Caregiving is not anyone’s definition of happily ever after. But when it happens, the sooner you can claim it and name it, the better you’re going to be able to navigate this path.”

Caring Hands

2. Bolster your support network then divide and conquer.

“You’re going to need people. This is not a path you can walk alone. My siblings and I had a caregiving plan for my mom, with Alzheimer’s, and again with my dad when he had bypass surgery after his heart attack. We looked at what we each could contribute: Who is the best organizer? Who can contribute the most financially? Who can physically be there to communicate with the doctors? We all took our roles and stayed in our lanes.”

3. Leverage technology.

“These days, technology offers a big advantage, especially for new caregivers. There are many free apps to help manage your time, start family calendars, and help you meditate, breathe and protect your mental health. Medical alert services are great at helping seniors embrace their independence and giving caregivers peace of mind, knowing that help is always available. I feel much more comfortable knowing my Dad has one, which I talked him into getting after learning he had a cardiac risk. He was wearing it two years later when he had a heart attack, and it saved his life.”

4. Connect with other caregivers, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“Leeza’s Care Connection links people to other caregivers who have walked the path before. With strategies, tools and tips, our goal is to help caregivers be more confident and competent and to realize they don’t have to let go of themselves to care for someone they love. Better care for caregivers means better outcomes for care receivers. Our focus is to care for the caregivers.”

5. Locate your resilience and strive for optimism.

“One thing I’ve noticed about those who handle their caregiving role well is how quickly they let go of failures. People who are optimistic about caregiving aren’t in denial. They can rebound and recover better. Those who are tied to their resilience are the ones who get through the challenges more affectively. There many ways for us to reclaim ourselves on the caregiving journey — and it’s different for every person — whether it’s taking a yoga class, exploring mindfulness, making art, or participating in dance or humor therapy. We have lots of programs on our website that help people connect with their resilience. The ability to focus on what’s left, instead of what’s lost is a key component to being successful.”

6. Find the joy.

“I’ve seen many families learn they have great capacity to accept tremendous change and still come out on the other side with happiness, joy and a new definition of what it means to be a family. The people who survive hard times and thrive through their caregiving experience become proud, as I have been and as my family has become. We learned so much about ourselves and were able to face a lot of uncertainty with hope and grace.”


Brooke Edwards is a writer in Little Rock, Arkansas. She and her husband raise two daughters and have twice as many pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping. Brooke enjoys Harry Potter and camping and is fresh on the Minecraft scene.

ACTION for Unity: Lunch & Learn with Leeza’s Care Connection

We must educate our students to participate.  For students to be most effective in civic engagement, they must first learn about the issues from the experts. Teens can then plan effectively to address real-world problems facing our communities.  ACTION uses our combined lunch and homeroom hour for Lunch & Learn sessions with career mentors.  We tried this “power hour” model last year when Karen Jackson (Clemson Extension) and Chanda Cooper (Richland Soil & Water Conservation District – SC) worked with our Unified Partners Team to plan and design a bioswale for our outdoor classroom.  The benefits of Lunch & Learns are four-fold. First, you widen the student’s knowledge-base by bringing in experts from various fields. Secondly, you identify the problem and decide on a plan of action. Thirdly, you build relationships among the team during planning meetings which allow for active participation. The idea is for the mentor to work alongside the teens during these sessions of inquiry and discovery. Finally, the knowledge and unity developed among team members results in a deeper level of commitment and a more effective project outcome.

This year, we will incorporate lunch sessions with all ACTION Teams. Kena Dill, the program director of Leeza’s Care Connection, spoke at a Lunch and Learn for our ACTION Care Team yesterday. Ms. Dill shared about the challenges that primary caretakers face when caring for family members suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other health issues such as Parkinson’s. Students connected their own experiences to the facts they were learning. When Kena shared her personal story, students developed deeper empathy.  After a mini-lesson, students broke into groups to brainstorm. Kena and I asked the teens to write down ways in which they could use their talents to support caretakers. One group planned ways to support the caretakers during the holidays recognizing that this can be a more stressful time for families. Another group thought of ways to use their music talents to support the caretakers. Music therapy is an evidence-based practice.  A third group had a great idea about creating photo stories using the caretakers’ old family pictures. The students will use technology to add music and/or narration to accompany the slideshow. We had so much fun planning outreach activities to support our local caretakers. I love our students’ passion and dedication towards civic engagement.

Lunch & Learn sessions provide a time for students to search for solutions with the aid of an expert. Our teens are not given the answer, but the opportunity to explore possibilities before deciding on a course of action. One student left yesterday’s planning session and told her science teacher, “I am really excited, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. It seems like a lot.”  Her teacher shared that he also feels this way when first faced with a problem. You can’t do it all at once. It is important to take things one step at a time. Lunch & Learns are the first step in the team process.

 

by Lori Wenzinger, M. Ed (original post here)

 

10 Tips for Family Caregivers

  1. Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  6. Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

The Legacy of Life

How TV and radio host Leeza Gibbons is using her experience as a caregiver to help others

Leeza Gibbons is a 60-year-old Emmy®-winning host and New York Times best-selling author, but her roles as an entrepreneur, mother, wife and caregiver are where she’s made her greatest contributions in life. Gibbons’ agility and constant motivation to keep pushing forward helped her conquer the challenges she faced after becoming a caregiver for her mother, who battled Alzheimer’s for nine years. The situation ultimately led her to advocate for those affected by the disease as a tribute and lasting legacy to her mom’s life.

A Mother’s Care

Gibbons grew up in Hartsville, a small town in South Carolina, along with her sister and brother who loved spending time outside. As a young girl, life for Gibbons consisted of simple southern charm and values: cleaning your plate and respecting your parents.

“When I grew up, it was: yes ma’am, no sir, mind your manners and do your chores,” recalls Gibbons. “Everyone looked out for each other. I thought it was perfect then. It feels even more perfect now.”

From a young age, Gibbons was a take-charge kind of girl and knew she wanted to be a storyteller. She aspired to travel around the world filming documentaries, while her mother never failed to help her discover her strengths.

“I have my mother to thank for that,” Gibbons says of her talent for telling stories. “When I couldn’t figure out what to perform at the school talent show in the sixth grade, my mother suggested that I deliver a well-told story. Mom was great like that — always helping me find the best parts of myself.”

 A New Normal

Gibbons’ mother, Jean, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 62. Even though her grandmother also suffered from the debilitating neurological disorder, it was extremely hard for Gibbons to reconcile that the disease was now hitting even closer.

“All I wanted to do initially was protect my mother and spare her the pain and confusion that I knew was coming,” Gibbons says. “This disease doesn’t wait for you to get your head and your heart ready, though. It doesn’t allow you to adjust to the anxiety and depression, the frustration and feelings of emptiness that creep into your new, unwelcome world. It just abruptly breaks into your life.”

Although Gibbons did not want to face the fact that her mother — a strong, active and sharp woman — was fading before her eyes, she took it upon herself to learn all she could about Alzheimer’s.

“I went into therapy,” Gibbons says. “I read everything I could get my hands on, and then I got educated. I went to seminars and went through certification programs. I watched DVDs and downloads from experts and authorities. All of it helped, but nothing helped more than talking with real caregivers who had walked the path before me.”

Becoming the primary caregiver for her mother meant that Gibbons had to come to terms with living an unbalanced life. Her experience with her mother taught Gibbons that trying to do things perfectly, crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s, makes for a stressful life.

“Now I don’t believe in balance,” she says. “I think balance is bogus! When I was caring for Mom, I hadn’t yet come to that conclusion. I finally just had to realize that all I could do was my best, but I know my job suffered a lot. Even when I was at work, I couldn’t focus and had bouts of anger or depression.”

It was this experience that led Gibbons to become entrenched in the world of caregiving education and advocacy.

She eventually established free community support centers for family caregivers trying to answer the question “now what?” when someone they love gets diagnosed with a chronic illness or disease. This haven offers an outlet for information and help, something Gibbons says is second nature to her.

“They always say that you teach what you need to learn,” she shares. “For me, helping other families understand how to navigate the realities and challenges of aging parents came naturally. It was my own adjustment to my ‘new normal’ that gave me the inspiration.”

Gibbons says the simple thing for families to do when dealing with Alzheimer’s is to

BREATHE

BELIEVE

RECEIVE

She believes that connecting to your faith and to others who have walked the path before you can be enormously comforting for those going through the challenge of being a caregiver.

Taking Care of Yourself

Caring for an aging parent can take a toll on those affected by the circumstances. Oftentimes the health of the caregiver suffers under the weight of the stress and pressure to provide the best care possible.

“We have to identify and then take time for our sanity sanctuaries (happy places) in life,” Gibbons explains. “It’s imperative that we nourish ourselves because it’s a stressing, depressing, depleting marathon.”

Gibbons imparts that other caregivers need to “stop achieving and start receiving” to relieve some of the stress and anxiety associated with taking care of an aging loved one. She advises considering ways to unload some of the responsibility of caregiving.

“Let others help you,” she advises. “Take advantage of the technology that’s out there. For example, we got my dad a medical alert device. After Mom died, he’s been living alone, and I was worried. That’s a lot of peace of mind!”

Becoming a caregiver required Gibbons to be very candid with her children about issues such as death. She realizes that openness helps tremendously when going through any stressful, life-changing time.

“They are conversant about it, and the topic [of death] is not stigmatized in our home,” Gibbons says. “I hope I have modeled patience and empathy for them and given them a sense of urgency for living your life out loud and on purpose.”

Juggling caregiver responsibilities with her personal needs, Gibbons developed different ways to manage her stress and health, incorporating activities such as meditation, Pilates and yoga, taking walks, eating healthy, and taking detox baths with Epsom salt and lavender.

Gibbons says the simple thing for families to do when dealing with Alzheimer’s is to breathe, believe and receive. She believes that connecting to your faith and to others who have walked the path before you can be enormously comforting for those going through the challenge of being a caregiver.

Fulfilling Destiny

Because Gibbons had promised her mother that she would tell her story “and make it count,” she established the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation in 2002.

“It made me feel empowered,” Gibbons says. “Grateful. Humbled to be of service to a community of people who are the strongest, yet most misunderstood, I’ve ever met.”

She believes that opening its signature program, Leeza’s Care Connection support centers, was in her destiny. Her father has served as a role model for her throughout this journey and is a frequent volunteer at the center.

“Having my dad offering his wisdom and humor means everything to me,” Gibbons shares. “He has always been such an optimistic role model. I believe in trying hard and caring more, and this means I got a shot to do both.”

While she’s achieved a lot through her professional career, it’s her ability to offer education and resources for those in need that gives her a measure of success.

“I feel successful whenever I am able to offer my gifts and talents with a healthy mind, body and spirit, through love and gratitude,” Gibbons says. “If I feel good about what I’m doing and I’m emotionally and physically strong, that’s big-time success! My optics on my success are clearer than ever before, allowing me to drink it up; gratitude is the foundation of success. My husband and I must say it half dozen times a day: ‘We have the best life.’ Amen to that.”

Jodi Marsh is the executive editor for Healthy Living Made Simple.

Leeza’s Dare2Care Fair

Midlands native and TV journalist Leeza Gibbons was back in the Capital City over the weekend to host her first ever Dare2Care Fair and Reception. It’s all part of her Leeza’s Care Connection Foundation. The goal of the free fair and health expo on Saturday was to empower parents and grandparents with ways to be smarter, safer and live better, healthier lives.

The free fair was held at the Columbia Convention Center. There was also a reception and auction, that included dares from local and Hollywood celebrities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 © The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation