The Gift of Adoption – The first person to inspire me would be my Mom known as Granda B, Brenda. Her strength to give the gift of a child made it possible for my adoptive parents, Terry and Tony – aka Nana and Papa. Together they are the reason as to why I became the individual I am today. These two have always shared their love for family, the community and friends. From day one, they made sure I felt at home, felt loved and felt secure. They both worked hard each and every day and made sure we said our prayers before meals, in the mornings and at nights. We also never missed mass! Faith was a huge part of growing up.
Nana and Papa never gave up on me. They always made sure I was healthy, had extra tutoring and speech therapy to help build up my confidence. They made me feel special and showed how much love and care they had for me. Nana and Papa truly influenced me in countless ways, but I would say the biggest influence they had on me was their faith, love and Grace they shared with everyone.
I grew up as a very self-conscious little girl. At the age of 6, I had a stutter that had stopped me from wanting to speak because I constantly felt embarrassed. When I started middle school, I got over my fear and started becoming the bold, confident and independent woman that I am today. My first major step was when I became active in the student council of my junior high school and high school.
I have always loved fundraising and bringing the community together. The very first fundraiser I participated in was a “somersault-a-thon” – where I took pledges from donors who would contribute a nickel per somersault. The event ended up generating a couple thousand dollars for the cause. This being my first successful fundraiser was when I began falling in love with the potential of what I can do…gathering the community, spreading positivity and helping those around me. I do want to add that there were many times when I had to give a speech and the spelling salts were brought out. I never gave up and to this day I never know when I might freeze.
I continued to grow and continued to love what I was doing. I LOVE to see a wholesome, happy community, and I LOVE being a part of our community. As my tag line says, “My Town, Your Town, Any Town, Let’s Connect.”
Throughout high school, I continued to participate in student government, such as being the event coordinator for dances, clubs and many other school events. Skipping ahead to adulthood – I decided to step away from my career at the time, and switch my focus to my adopted father. I became my adopted father’s (aka Papa Tony) caregiver after he suffered from a heart attack.
As Papa Tony started to recover, I did everything I could to take care of him and made sure he enjoyed the rest of his time. I did this by taking him on adventures all over Reno-Tahoe to explore, to enjoy life’s beauty and to fully experience what this beautiful region had to offer.
Papa Tony was loved by all and built a great reputation here in Reno. He was able to enjoy the rest of time with many laughs, great company, beautiful views and countless memories. He was a great soul, and I was fulfilled that I was able to be there for him and make sure he enjoyed his time. Being my dad’s caregiver for his last ten years was truly the best gift I could have ever asked for.
After my father’s passing, I continued to be involved in the community. Something I always reminded myself then, and even now, is that “it’s what my father would have wanted.” That is what continuously inspires me to do what I do. One of my greatest accomplishments was raising $35,000 in one night for a local tumor patient. I have continued to love my community, and all those that I encounter daily inspires me.
My About Town Deb’s media outlets now reach over 30,000 people and only continues to grow. I love embracing my passion for wine, food, travel and most importantly the community. I love sharing my experiences and seeing our community so wholesome and happy. To my family, neighbors, community members and local businesses, thank you for always being there to lift me up, share your stories and allow us all to become one and continue to make our world a better place. Remember #TogetherWeAreOneHeart and with that Heart we can do anything.