Tracy WilsonMourning’s Hats Off Luncheon funds transformations
MIAMI - Tracy Wilson-Mourning is a woman on a mission. In addition to carving out her own life’s journey, she is a wife, mother, philanthropist and one of the newest members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The statuesque beauty has acquired wisdom, insight and courage as it relates to living life on purpose and she’s determined to help young girls better navigate their journey by pouring what she knows into them.
Wilson-Mourning created the Honey Shine organization as a platform for her and other professional women to help young girls build their confidence and learn to live from their uniqueness. The organization hosts its 16th annual Hats Off Luncheon on May 4 at the Hilton Miami Downtown (1601 Biscayne Boulevard), with proceeds going to fund Camp Honey Shine Summer Enrichment program at the Carrollton School of the Sacred Hearts in Coconut Grove.
This year’s event, themed Sweet Sixteen, will be hosted by television anchor Louis Aguirre and will honor Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; the 17-year old who was murdered in 2012 while walking home from the store while visiting his father in Sanford, Florida.
“It’s really an honor to be able to recognize her for her strength. She’s such a beautiful example of how, when life is cruel, you have to push through and make something out of the pain and trauma,” said Wilson-Mourning, whose husband is former Miami Heat basketball great, Alonzo Mourning.
When she speaks about her "Honey Bugs," the term of endearment for girls enrolled in the Honey Shine program, the pride in Wilson-Mourning’s voice is strong.
“We have quite a few,” when asked to share a few success stories. “All of our girls are just amazing. We have one Honey Bug that’s a Gates scholar. We have Honey Bugs who never thought about college, in college,” she said. “It’s always a big success when they go off to college and they come back to work or serve the program in some way.”
The transformation the girls undergo is a thrill for Wilson-Mourning, who said many of them come in “hunched over, their heads were down, no eye contact.”
Their participation in the summer camp and the year-round programming that includes workshops every other Saturday and exposure to professional women who serve as mentors, helps the girls become more self-assured, she explained.
“My favorite thing is when you see them all grown up. The confidence in them. Shoulders back, heart open to God, crown on your head.”
Because, like adult women, girls make better decisions when their selfesteem is strong, she encourages the Honey Bugs to persevere when obstacles appear.
“Life’s going try to knock that crown off your head. But that’s your crown given to you by God. Straighten that crown up and keep it moving,” she said. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Honeyshine.org.
HONEY SHINE: The Sixteenth Annual Hats Off Luncheon on May 4 features guests dressing up and donning their favorite brims. Proceeds fund the Honey Shine, Inc.'s annual summer camp for girls from eight to 18-years old. Tracy Wilson-Mourning, shown above at last year's luncheon, is the program's founder.