Samantha and I go back about 7 or 8 years now, we met on Twitter. And, took our relationship offline when we journeyed to a conference together. Who knew then that this glamorous woman that I was sitting beside would end up being one of my closest friends. Sam is a person with great insight and a real go-getter. Even though her journey has been tough, she always had time to lend a supportive hand.
She has helped and supported so many people along the way, that there are too numerous to mention. But, unfortunately she has had her fair share of bullies. And, people who just are just so unhappy with themselves. That, she becomes the target of their anger and disappointments. But, she has stayed true and has never wavered from being who she is.
Sam has achieved so much in the last few years. That, I am in awe. She has gone from being the Funky Goddess to spreading her Twitter Magic everywhere. And founding the Women’s Inspire Network, a fantastic network that is full of warmth, support and learning.
She has built an amazing team around her. And, one of her team was Marie Collins. Marie was a beautiful woman. She always had time to help and a warm welcome. She had the biggest of hearts and friendlist of smiles. Infact, it was Marie who designed my logo for the Women’s Inspire Event held in the Radisson Blu in 2017.
Meeting Marie for the very first time, in person was amazing. I was really nervous because I was going to be inscribing live at the event the next day and had produced the speaker gifts. I was full of anxiety. She came straight over, gave me a huge hug and said don’t be so nervous, everything will be fine. Of course, she was right.
To our hearts disappointment Marie passed away within weeks of the event. I didn’t believe it. She was just so full of life.
With the next event coming up in Galway. Sam wanted to do something to remember Marie. She asked me to inscribe a piece to present to her husband Danny at the Galway event. She also wanted to recognise the people within the Women’s Inspire Network who encapsulated the kindness, support and warmth shown by Marie with the Marie Collins Award. And, to my absolute delight she suggested that I inscribe these very meaningful awards.
Each time I sit to inscribe these awards, I remember Marie’s kindness to me. Each stroke of the pen is with her smile and warmth. These awards are made with love and in memorial of our beautiful Marie Collins.
I have the privilege and pleasure of inscribing the Marie Collins Award on behalf of the Women’s Inspire Network and Sam for Martina Kenny, Deirdre O’Sullivan, Janette O’Rourke, Esther Lawson de Ocamp, Lisa Kelly, Noreen Maher, Eimear Kelly, Martina Lennon, Dee O’Leary, Barbara Edwards, Ailish McCormack Kelly and Louise Tyrrell. All of whom encapsulate Marie’s beautiful warmth and kindness.