Peace Maker Spotlight

Posted on: March 17th, 2014 by jeni No Comments

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Peace Maker

Summer/Fall 2014

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Shelly Gross

Burtonsville, Maryland

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Mattie said that a Peace Maker is someone who “lives peace” and strives to make peace a habit. A peace maker is not about “being perfect,” but about practicing and serving as a role model by using words and actions that promote peace, and that tend to the basic needs of others.

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Although Shelly Gross never had the opportunity to meet Mattie in person, she heard his name throughout her life. First she learned of him from her step-mother who was a longtime Mattie-fan. Then, she learned a lot more about him and about the work of his Foundation when she met her partner, Heather Dobbins. Heather, now Shelly’s fiancee, is Mattie’s “kin-sister” and a former member of the Board of Directors for Mattie’s Foundation.

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Last fall, Shelly heard that the Foundation was creating a video compilation of people around the world sharing Mattie’s “December Prayer” poem as a part of the annual winter outreach activity. Without hesitation, she offered to share her talents as a video editor, and donated her time and energy to weave the global submissions into a beautiful gift and message of hope and peace. She is also ready to volunteer for future Foundation video activities!

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During Spring/Summer 2014, our Peace Spotlight Honoree theme is “Peace: Attitude to Action.” As we celebrate individuals and groups who give of their time, their talent, and their treasure, and who strive to move from attitude to action with peace, the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation honors Shelly Gross  – our Summer/Fall 2014 Peace Maker Spotlight.

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Shelly Gross — Peace Maker Spotlight Feature

Below are Shelly’s responses to our Spotlight questionnaire

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Spring 2014 Peace Maker Spotlight Honoree, Shelly Gross (left) with her father, Alan Gross, and her fiancee, Heather Dobbins.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

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My name is Shelly. I grew up in Maryland, and I currently live in Burtonsville.

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I am a professional Video Editor and Videographer.

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I have the amazing ability to quote movies just by seeing the movie once.

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I love to travel and to find adventures wherever I go.

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Also, I have a great sense of humor. I collect rubber ducks, I am a cat owner, and orange is my favorite color!

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What does “peace” mean to you?

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Peace means respect and understanding.

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Peace also involves being a part of activities that help promote respect and understanding, and a making our world a better  place. When we raise our own awareness through participation and action, it gives us knowledge so that we can educate other people.

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Last year, I was able to be apart of an event to help raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and to bring awareness to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation. Both of these organizations promote hope and peace.

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Shelly (left) during a 2013 MDA event with (L-R) Jeni Stepanek, Heather Dobbins, and Sandy Newcomb.

How did you learn about Mattie and his Foundation?

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I learned about Mattie through my great family. First, I heard about him from my step-mother, who has been following him since the beginning – back in 2001 when he first was on television.

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Later in life, I was introduced to and welcomed into his family through my partner, Heather Dobbins. Mattie called her “Hedder” and they were like brother and sister.

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Last fall, I had the honor of editing the winter outreach “December Prayer” video for the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation. Working with Jeni Stepanek was so much fun. It felt really good to be making a video that has such a great message.

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Spreading the message of December Prayer during the holidays reminds people the true meaning why we celebrate — to share peace and love to everyone!

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Mattie’s message has impacted my thought of peace by raising awareness. I have realized that not everyone will always agree with you, but if there is a level of peace and understand between people, unity can be accomplished.

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I look forward to continuing to be involved with Mattie’s Foundation, and helping produce videos that spread his message. I also look forward to attending more events that promote hope and peace.

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I also would love to get my nephew, Conner, involved in the free children’s program, “Mattie’s Peace Club Kids.” 

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Do you have a favorite Mattie book, poem, or quote?

“Remember to play after every storm!” is my favorite Mattie quote. I love this quote because it reminds me that even in times of struggle, you have to remember to relax and let go. Be a kid. Dance in the rain.

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Anything else you would like to share? 

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Everyone is entitled to peace in their life. If we give others peace, and we will receive it back.

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I feel honored to be recognized as a Peace Maker by Mattie’s Foundation. Thank you.

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Thank you, Shelly,

for being a Peace Maker.

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View the “December Prayer” by Mattie J.T. Stepanek
shared by Global Neighbors video here…

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Return to main Spotlight page

 

April Spotlight

In-Kind Support

Celebrating our "in kind" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with services and materials. Thank you ezStorage, Montgomery Printing, Parcel Plus, and Potomac Valley Brick! Read more...

Nourishment Support

Celebrating our "nourishment" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with food and services. Thank you Botanero Restaurant, Fontina Grille, Safeway, Coffee Republic, and Red Hot & Blue! Read more...

Community Support

Celebrating our "community" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with commitment and participation. Thank you City of Rockville, King Farm Citizen's Assembly, Kick's Karate & Mix 107.3! Read more...

Champion Support

Celebrating our "Foundation Champions" -- sponsors and volunteers of all ages who support Mattie's Foundation through donations, brick sponsorships, participation in our activities and events. Thank you!!! Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek