Each Spring, Full Circle hosts a luncheon themed after the poem titled “Live Your Dash” and awards a select few in the Richmond area who are truly making a difference in our community.

We’re excited to introduce this year’s Live Your Dash Award Winners who are truly living their dash. Awards this year are given in memory of former winner, Emily Koski.

Talley Baratka, Founder Impact100 Richmond

As the founder of Impact100 Richmond, Talley Baratka, has never met a stranger. Impact 100 has awarded $1.5 million dollars in $100,000 grants to 15 local Richmond non-profit groups since it started in 2009. 

Talley believes connection is what we are all hard-wired for and even did a Tedx talk about it a few years back. She lives her life with such purpose and intention–whether it is at her day job in communications, through her important work at Impact 100, or something as simple as hosting a book club to discuss the book ‘I Think You are Wrong, But I am Listening’ to simply do what so many of us wish our elected officials and our journalists would do: listen to folks who think differently than you do. 

She doesn’t just have plans or ideas, she makes things happen by being willing to put herself out there. She doesn’t waste time complaining or wishing the world would be different, she takes action and lives with such integrity and heart that you cannot help but be inspired by her example.    

Amy Black, Amy Black Tattoos and Founder/President of The Pink Ink Fund

“Art can heal.”

Those words are a perfect example of why Amy Black is one of this year’s Live Your Dash Award winners.

As an artist, she provides a variety of styles of tattoos. In 2011, Amy founded The Pink Ink Fund after beginning mastectomy tattooing in response to seeing friends who were concerned about their own mastectomy tattooing costs.

The Pink Ink Fund is Non-Profit Organization that seeks to aid people needing assistance with their post mastectomy tattoo needs as part of their Breast Reconstruction due to Breast Cancer and/or BRCA diagnosis. Pink Ink Fund raises money and solicits donations in order to offer financial assistance, education, and outreach to those in the community needing post mastectomy reconstructive, restorative, and recovery tattooing.

The Pink Ink Fund is also very focused on helping military first responder patients and their spouses. Because of her compassion and beautiful work, Amy’s nipple tattoo clients travel worldwide to see her.

Amy has found her life’s calling to love and support women after reconstruction and help make them feel whole and beautiful again. She uses her dash to make a true difference for women with breast cancer in our community. 

Bonnie Price, Forensic Nurse

In 1993, Bonnie Price was an emergency room nurse at St. Mary’s and saw a tremendous gap in how victims of sexual assault and domestic violence were treated when they came to the hospital. She knew there had to be a better way to treat these patients and not further traumatize them after what had happened.

Bonnie started with her furthering her own education and became a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, SANE, and started the what has now become the forensic nursing program at Bon Secours. Most people do not know that Bon Secours is the only hospital with nurses trained in the collection of vital evidence that can bring justice for the crimes that have been done to them. Without Bonnie’s vision and dedication, victims in our communities would have literally nowhere to turn. 

As a Live Your Dash Committee member for 3 years and a Full Circle Board Member for 8 years, Bonnie is one of the most deserving members of this award. She has dedicated her entire career and her life to ensuring that those victimized by the most heinous crimes of humanity, are treated with kindness, care and with the scientifically, highly skilled and trained hands of a nursing department determined to bring justice for them. She and her team possess the unique ability to compartmentalize what they have seen and heard for the sake of their victims and without her work, thousands of children and adults each year would be underserved in their greatest moment of need.

Caroline Neal, Worthdays

After ten years as a social worker in Chesterfield County, Caroline Neal saw firsthand the vast needs of those in the foster care system. In 2015, Caroline founded Worthdays to address the needs of those children in the foster care system as well as to provide an opportunity to educate and engage the community.

The name of the organization came from a piece of advice Caroline received – “all day remind him that he’s worth it because all day he’s reminding himself that he’s not.”

Caroline’s initial vision came from realizing it’s hard to feel your worth when nobody is celebrating your birthday. This brought about her Birthday Box idea – striving to make sure all children in the foster care system receive a gift on their birthday. In the organization’s first four years, 700 birthdays were celebrated. This gesture has grown and expanded to include Easter Basket deliveries and Christmas gifts. 

The impact of this organization goes far beyond gift giving. Worthdays focuses on providing children in the foster care system with opportunities to feel normal, loved, and celebrated all while bringing to light this tremendous need in our community through volunteers and supporters to help make a positive change on what Caroline feels is a broken system.

Caroline is a shining example of the Live Your Dash motto in action. Caroline saw firsthand a need in the community and took action realizing even a small gesture could have a tremendous impact.

Please join us Thursday, April 29 for our Virtual Luncheon to honor these amazing women!

Click HERE to purchase tickets!