By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
PICAYUNE — Local business owner and community volunteer Tami Harris has won the coveted title of 2012 Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs-Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs (MFWC) Club Woman of the Year for the state of Mississippi. A member of the Civic Woman’s Club of Picayune, Harris is one of only three club members, along with Darlene Adams and Leslie Lincoln, to take the state title. Former CWC of Picayune president and state president elect, Darlene Adams, said, “Tami was instrumental in the Civic Woman's Club adopting the Senior Center and assist(ing) us in many of our needs here. She has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, judged youth art in our local schools, purchased and delivered Christmas gifts to the needy, food to the hungry and the list goes on and on. You won’t find anyone with more of a servant’s heart than Tami. We are blessed to have her in our community. There is no ‘fancy’ title behind her name, but Tami is truly one of our everyday heroes.” Club women around the state record volunteer hours each year according to club departments. Harris said, “I love helping people and I feel very humbled to be chosen. The entire process has been a mixture of surprise and disbelief. There is such a high caliber of women involved with our local club. When I received the news about being Club Woman of the Year for our club, I was thrilled. Then I competed against the Club Women of the Year from eight other chapters to our district and received that award. I was more than expecting not to be chosen at the state level and amazed I had gone as far as I had. But when they called my name for state, I just cried in disbelief.” Harris said her life is devoted to her faith. She attends New Jerusalem Praise and Worship Center in Pearl River, La. where she is involved in evangelistic ministries and outreach. She has been married to Darren Harris for 15 years and has a daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters. She is a breast cancer survivor of seven years. Cancer and domestic violence are issues that are close to her heart. She also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. “I just grew up helping people,” she said. “I helped my grandmothers growing up and just feel like it is another way to be close to the Lord.” When Harris is not volunteering, she loves to sew, play with her granddaughters, exercise, swim and travel. “She's a great person; always willing to help in any way with both time and money,” said former CWC President, Kathleen Penton. The GFWC-MFWC, Inc., is made up of local clubs that determine their own activities within the program guidelines of the GFWC. The GFWC-MFWC clubs address the diverse needs of their communities, recognize women's past achievements, promote literacy for children and adults and encourage good health practices. The websites describe the federations as: “GFWC-MFWC is a proud member of GFWC, one of the world's largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational, women's volunteer service organization, which has earned a reputation as a powerful force. With 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries, GFWC members are community leaders who work locally to create global change by supporting the arts, preserving natural resources, advancing education, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging civic involvement, and working toward world peace and understanding. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., GFWC has a long history of philanthropy, social and political advocacy and community leadership.” — http://www.gfwc-mfwc.org/ and http://www.gfwc.org.