Gwinnett women honored for service, giving

LAWRENCEVILLE - Two women were honored Saturday with the presentation of one award.

Beauty Baldwin received the newly named Anna Shackelford Legacy Award during the sixth annual United Way Women's Leadership of Gwinnett awards event Saturday.

The event recognizes four women - this year that number increased to five - who give of their time, treasures, talents and legacies through service in the Gwinnett community.

Before the 2009 Legacy Award was presented to Baldwin, Demetrius Jordan, area director for the United Way in Gwinnett and North Fulton, announced the award would this year bear a name, that of longtime community leader Anna Shackelford.

"With us is one who does not just take up causes," Jordan said. "She literally lives a life of cause and deep meaning. This is a woman of great passion, one who really puts herself out there. She truly brings the word legacy to life."

Here is a look at this year's four Legacy Award recipients.

Legacy -

Beauty Baldwin

At just 67 years young, Baldwin's legacy has already been cemented in the Gwinnett community, particularly in the areas of public education and service.

"I knew when I was in third grade that I wanted to be a math teacher ... accomplished," Baldwin wrote in an e-mail Friday, her - and her doctors' - preferred mode of communication after she recently underwent surgery on her throat.

After being hired to teach in Gwinnett County Public Schools, Baldwin quickly rose to the position of assistant principal at Central Gwinnett High and was later recruited by Buford City Schools as principal of Buford Middle. In 1984, Baldwin made history as the first black female school superintendent in Georgia, a position in Buford City Schools that she held for 10 years before retiring.

Even in retirement, Baldwin's contributions to education continued. In 1997, the Dacula resident opened Hopewell Christian Academy, where she continues to serve as head administrator.

"I surely hope my legacy is one of involvement and service to my community," Baldwin wrote. "This has been in the forefront of my entire life."

Talent - Chaiwon Kim

In presenting the award for talent, last year's recipient, Laura Moore, described Chaiwon Kim as an "unsung hero."

An immigrant herself, Kim's talent has been spent assisting others within Gwinnett's Asian-American community.

After volunteering for six years with the Center for Pan Asian American Community Service, the Norcross resident was named the organization's executive director, a position she has held for the past 19 years. Kim founded Gwinnett County's first medical clinic specially equipped to meet the linguistic and cultural needs of Asian-American women and children seeking health care.

Kim also launched the state's first support group for Korean breast cancer survivors and established Rainbow Heights in Snellville, a low-income senior housing complex for Asian residents.

In 2009, Kim's goal of opening a shelter from domestic violence for Asian-American women became a reality with Gwinnett County's Hana House, the first shelter of its kind in the state.

Treasure -

Sandra Strickland

When Gwinnett Medical Center announced its plans to build a second tower on its central Gwinnett campus, Sandra Strickland and her husband, Clyde, made a donation of $1 million toward the construction.

Patients undergoing treatment for cancer at Gwinnett Medical have also benefited from Strickland's giving. The Gwinnett native helps fund the patient navigator program at the hospital. A patient navigator assists patients in dealing with their diagnoses, figuring out insurance issues and locating resources.

Time - Pat Swan

Since moving to Gwinnett County in 1978, Pat Swan's mark has been left on the countless committees for which she has served, events she has helped organize and causes for she has volunteered.

After retiring two years ago from her job as an operating room nurse, Swan has continued to be a very busy lady. The Lilburn Cooperative Ministry, annual Lilburn Daze, Relay for Life, Dream House 4 Kids, the Hudgens Center for the Arts, the Gwinnett Leadership Program, the Junior Achievement Program at Arcado Elementary and a host of other Gwinnett organizations and agencies have benefited throughout the past couple years from the Lilburn resident's gift of her time.