YMCA ceremony recognizes Moody for dedication to Plant City
It was an evening of gratitude to Sharon Moody as she received the 2022 Plant City Family YMCA Strong Leader Award on August 25.
Many came out for the event, which was also an appreciation dinner, held inside the Trinkle Center at the Plant City Hillsborough Community College branch.
Moody, a Plant City native, has been recognized by the local YMCA for her leadership role in the Plant City community through her efforts to contribute to its growth and prosperity.
For more than four decades, she has helped various organizations, events and schools. From 1979 to 1981, she worked as a teacher’s aide for Hillsborough County schools and was the cheerleading coordinator for the Plant City Colts youth football and pep team. In 1994, she worked for the State of Florida as a revenue specialist and worked at SunTrust Bank.
Moody is also the founder and past president of Plant City Black Heritage Celebration Inc. and Plant City Junior League Woman’s Club. She served as the events coordinator for the Black Heritage Gala and Jazz Festival, celebrating Black History Month.
In 2016, her tireless work earned her the Citizen of the Year Award and she was named Grand Marshal of the Florida Strawberry Festival Parade in 2021.
She was a member of Unity in the Community for over 13 years, serving as past president and current treasurer.
However, his personal relationships with people also had a lot of impact, especially with his friends.
“It’s easy to have fun with our friend Sharon because she’s learned to love her life and not take it too seriously. She’s learned the real lesson in life, and that’s to laugh at yourself “, said her friend Marsha Passmore, who is her fellow board member of the organization Unity in the Community. “Sharon is a name that indicates the gift of small talk and the ability to persuade others effortlessly.”
And there are instances where Moody has kissed other members of the community.
“She’s like a sister to Marsha and me,” said her friend Dodie White, Passmore’s sister. “We are so lucky to have each other, but we are also blessed to have people like Sharon.”
White and Passmore affectionately call Moody their “sista”.
They broke the word down into an acronym, using each letter to describe Moody: S is for his sweet smile; I is for his contagious laughter; S is for his service; T is for his immense talent; and A is for his admirable abilities.
White and Passmore recounted an instance where they went on a cruise with their mother and Moody.
“She treated our mother like she would have treated her own mother,” White said.
Moody also showed her support for young people by becoming the coordinator of the Junior Miss Plant City pageant and serving as director of the Plant City Boys & Girls Club from 2004 to 2009.
The Plant City Kiwanis Club, of which she was governor, partnered with Stingray Chevrolet employees and the Plant City High School Key Club for the annual Christmas for An Angel event. For more than 30 years, this function has provided underprivileged children with toys for the holidays. Last December, the Kiwanis club collected more than 3,500 toys to distribute to selected students at 18 schools in Hillsborough County.
However, the charitable offerings did not stop there. Moody and members of the Kiwanis Club and Key Club handed out large bags of toys to children outside the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center.
She is also vice president and a committee member of the Plant City Christmas Parade.
The Black Heritage Celebration also hosts the annual Lots of Hugs Summer Reading Camp to help children improve their reading skills. As Summer Program Director, Moody has helped cook over 13,000 meals for over 100 children over the past 12 years.
One youngster she has had an influence on is her grandson Denzel Singleton.
Since returning to Plant City in 2008 from California, he has spent a lot of time with his grandmother and developed a closer bond with her.
“Being able to watch her was the most impactful and influential thing I’ve ever experienced,” Singleton said. “His love and support surpasses anything and everything we go through.”
This support shows in her dedication to the local Kiwanis club of which she has been a member for 15 years.
As a member, she held nine district-level positions and five club-level positions. Moody has also received the Kiwanis International President Challenge Award, the Distinguished Lt. Governor Award, and the Distinguished President Award.
This year, she partnered with the Plant City Police Department, City of Plant City, and Kiwanis Literacy Clubs of California for the Kiwanis ‘N Cops ‘N Kids program. Through a book drive, the local police department collected nearly 500 books over the summer, while Kiwanis literacy clubs donated 100 new books.
Every first Tuesday of the month, beginning September 6, children can read with Kiwanis members and police officers at the Bruton Memorial Library, school or park.
On October 1, she will take office as governor of the District of Florida – a term that will last until September of next year.
During the ceremony, a slideshow was presented with family, friends and acquaintances, each taking a moment to express their love and gratitude for Moody.
Subsequently, she received her award from Shelly Carroll of Plant City Elks Lodge and Paul Conley, executive director of the center of the Plant City Family YMCA.
“I want to thank all of you who believed and joined me on this unforgettable journey tonight,” Moody said. “These accomplishments are truly a milestone in my life.”