By Danielle Anthony
Every year, The Prenatal Clinic of Bryan College Station honors outstanding women of the B/CS community with their “You’re the Tops” luncheon. The honorees are women who spend their time enriching lives through their community involvement.
This year, the 23rd annual “You’re the Tops” luncheon will be held on Saturday, April 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the College Station Hilton and Conference Center. Thirteen honorees were nominated for their various works throughout the community, including work in Scotty’s House, Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension’s Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition, Amigos del Valle de Brazos, Hospice Brazos Valley, and many more.
“These women work either in their careers or in their spare time to make someone else’s life just a little bit better,” Lynn Clary Yeager, executive director of the Prenatal Clinic, says.
This year’s honorees include Cary Baker, Nancy Bertsch, Carol Binzer, Joyce Cavanagh, Marsy Clarke, Dorothy Hernandez, Debbie Holladay, Lynn Holleran, Cindy Kovar, Pat Allen Rice, Debbie Robertson, Diana Watson, and Shonda Whetstone.
The event is coordinated completely by community volunteers, according to Yeager. The women honored at this luncheon have been nominated by community members who believe both in the honorees and the work of the Prenatal Clinic. The proceeds from this event will benefit the B/CS Prenatal Clinic, which will allow prenatal and postpartum care to reach as many women in the area as possible.
With the slogan “Healthy Moms … Healthy Babies,” the Prenatal Clinic strives to ensure that the low-income women of B/CS become healthy moms with healthy babies by providing comprehensive, accessible, and affordable prenatal care and health education. Prenatal care is critical to both the mother and the unborn baby, so the Prenatal Clinic offers physical examinations, vitamins, social work, and education on nutrition, exercise, parenting skills, and newborn care.
After 31 years, the number of women in Brazos County who give birth without prenatal care has reduced by 76 percent. According to their website, the Prenatal Clinic annually serves more than 750 women, and close to 20 percent of the babies born in Brazos County are seen at the Prenatal Clinic.
Tickets for the “You’re the Tops” luncheon are $40 and reservations must be postmarked by April 19 by contacting Lynn Clary Yeager at (979) 595-1783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since July 2002, Carol Binzer has found a real home enjoying the “Howdy Spirit” at Texas A&M University. The director of administrative and support services in the office of Residence Life has also been active in the Brazos Valley since completing Leadership Brazos in 2007. Carol has served on multiple boards of directors and has also worked with Power of the Purse, College Station Noon Lions Club, and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish in College Station.
Cary Baker has spent her career helping others, whether it is health education services or child advocacy. After working for several years in the health education field, in 2013 Cary was named Executive Director of Scotty’s House, the child advocacy center of the Brazos Valley. Cary’s work has revitalized the agency’s fundraising efforts. In addition to her role as Executive Director, Cary is also the Agency Representative on the United Way Board of Directors.
Working full-time as project manager for Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension’s Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition, Cindy Kovar has dedicated her life to public service and living her passion to save lives through safety education. She has volunteered countless hours to La Leche League of the Brazos Valley, Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley, and more. Cindy has also worked at Women, Infants and Children Food and Nutrition Services and has taught Breastfeeding and Early Infant Care to expectant parents at CHI St. Joseph for more than 16 years.
With more than 30 years of experience, Debbie Holladay started Holladay & Associates, Inc. — a tax and accounting firm in Bryan — in 2015. She continuously gives back to the Brazos Valley community by volunteering with American Business Women’s Association, B/CS Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute — Brazos Valley Chapter, Leadership Brazos Alumni, Special Olympics, Sassy Shoe Social, Phoebe’s Home, Coach Blair Charities, Hospice Brazos Valley, and more.
A retired College Station teacher, Debbie Robertson’s passion is making an impact on students. Since her “retirement” in 2010, she has worked part-time for the Health & Kinesiology Department at Texas A&M. Debbie received many professional awards during her teaching career, and volunteered with many organizations. Outside the academic environment, Debbie has also served on committees with Health for All, Crestview Retirement Community, and more.
Diana Watson has been an active member of the B/CS community for more than 46 years, and her leadership and service touch every corner of the community — education, healthcare, the arts, church, and care for the poor. Some of the organizations she has helped with include Young Life, Woman’s Club of Bryan, BISD Foundation Board, Brazos Valley Hospice, Salvation Army Auxiliary, and many more.
Dorothy Hernandez devoted her time to establishing the history and legacy of the contributions the Mexican-Americans in the Brazos County have made. This includes establishing Amigos del Valle de Brazos, and working with the Brazos County Historical Society, among other things. Her service in various social organizations includes the Brazos County A&M Mother’s Club, the Black & White Scholarship Committee, George Bush World War II Veterans of Brazos County, and more.
Serving as a Girl Scout instilled a passion and commitment to community service for Joyce Cavanagh. She continues to serve with the Girl Scouts in various areas, as well as serving with other organizations — the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the Accreditation Task Force, and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. Joyce is also an Associate Professor and Family Economics Specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a position she has held for 21 years.
Lynn Ann Holleran
Known by many for adopting any “four-legged creature needing love,” Lynn Ann Holleran credits animals for teaching her many of life’s lessons. The two-time cancer survivor is a determined optimist who backs her interests through philanthropy. She and her husband generously support Texas A&M in several areas and are members of the Director’s Circle of KAMU TV/FM. Lynn also supports The Theatre Company and Aggieland Humane Society.
Marsy Clarke’s long-term goal is helping people with disabilities achieve their maximum potential and become useful community citizens. Some of her work towards this cause includes co-founding the Geranium Junction in 1981. She served as chair of the Board of Geranium Junction as it evolved into Junction Five O Five, helped plan and implement several state and locally sponsored activities that employ disabled citizens, and was involved in the planning for the set-aside of a block of apartments for disabled citizens. Additionally, Marsy has served on the Brazos County Child Protective Services Board since 1975.
Nancy Bertsch, M.D.
An obstetrician/gynecologist at Baylor Scott & White, Dr. Nancy Bertsch chose Scott & White as her employer immediately out of residency because of its commitment as a not-for-profit hospital, which values patients above all else. She has also volunteered with the Prenatal Clinic for the Brazos Church Pantry, Health for All, Habitat for Humanity, Sexual Assault Resource Center, and Planned Parenthood.
Patricia “Pat” Allen Rice
Known for her philanthropy and for her tireless efforts in public service, Patricia “Pat” Allen Rice has volunteered her time and shared her talents with many local, national, and international associations. Pat’s efforts have been recognized and honored by numerous organizations including being named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club and Outstanding Chi Omega Alumna Advisor. In 2014 she was inducted into the Bryan Independent School Districts “Hall of Honor.” Additionally, she has worked with Briarcrest Country Club Ladies Association, Bryan Public Library, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and many more.
Shonda C. Whetstone
A native of Bryan College Station, Shonda C. Whetstone is dedicated to both education and community service. She has worked for Brazos County Juvenile Probation, Child Protective Services, Bryan Independent School District, Texas A&M University and Blinn College. She currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Social Sciences for Blinn College. Additionally, Shonda has served with Bethune Women’s Club, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Blinn alumni students, and more.