Local women semifinalists for Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame induction
Two local women have been selected as semifinalists to become the 2011 inductee into the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame due to their unstoppable energy.
There are 100 semifinalists for the selection.
The sixth annual search of the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame inductee began in January for those everyday people who do extraordinary, positive things in the communities they live. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was the inaugural inductee in 2006.
Cape Coral/Fort Myers resident Aimee McLaughlin was nominated by her husband and was a little shocked when she found out she was named as a semifinalist because of what she read about previous winners.
“I am honored to be included,” she said. “The other nominees are amazing as well and I honor them for their accomplishments. I am sure whoever wins will be deserving of it.”
The wife and mother of a 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son said she feels like she has two lives. Her first priority in life is her children, which entails a busy schedule of her daughter swimming competitively and her son playing sports, along with being a member of the PTO.
“If you want them to be good human beings you have to be involved in their life,” McLaughlin said.
She works as a communications director for Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, which is a non-profit organization that oversees child welfare in five counties through foster care and adoptions as her second job. She has worked for the organization for the past five years.
As the communications director, McLaughlin takes care of all of the marketing, fund-raising, special events, grant writing, legislature affairs and working on the website.
“I am basically the agency spokesperson, face and child advocate,” she explained.
McLaughlin started off by working from the ground up, which gave her an opportunity to work with families. She said when you personally sit in an office and see a child who was removed from their parents because of abuse it is a lot easier to advocate on behalf of them because you see what they have gone through.
“I love my job. I strongly believe in what I do,” she said.
Although she is always on the move and feels like she never sits down, she said it is OK.
“I really don’t get tired … this is my life and I like it,” she said.
Angie Ferguson, who owns a multi-sport company, Team Geared Up, was the second Lee County resident who has named one of the semifinalists earlier this week because one of her athletes nominating her. She said she was extremely excited to find out she was a semifinalist.
The Fort Myers resident is a 12-time Ironman, Team USA member in 2005 and 2006 and an All American ranked USA Level II advanced triathlon and USA cycling coach.
Ferguson began the business in 1999 after she decided that she wanted to do more than just work with athletes during the rehabilitation process.
“I wanted to help them achieve their goals … help them realize their goals,” she said. “It is fantastic to watch people figure out there are no barriers.”
She explained that she trains athletes locally and nationally and has a team of athletes that she meets with four times a week. She also has a children’s and senior team with members who are between 70 and 80 years old.
“That’s priceless,” she said about her senior team trying things they have never done before.
The teams swim, bike, run and do various conditioning exercises during the week.
Ferguson also provides a wellness program for 1,500 residents at the Lexington Country Club, has raised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and developed a triathlon camp for young children.
“I am very blessed to use my talents to help other people,” she said.
Ferguson works seven days a week because she absolutely “loves” what she does.
The two women will go onto the second round of judging, which will narrow the semifinalist down to nine finalists. The 10th finalist will be chosen through voting that will take place on Facebook at www.facebook.com/energizerbunny from March 17-25.
The 10 finalists will all receive a $1,000 donation for their charity of choice.
Once the top 10 are chosen, the public will have the opportunity to vote for this year’s inductee for the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame. The voting will take place from April 4 through May 14 at www.energizer.com/halloffame. A dollar donation will be given to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation for each finalist vote up to $10,000.
The inductee will receive a cash prize of $10,000, along with a $5,000 donation for his or her favorite charity. In addition, the 2011 inductee will be honored at a ceremony with Cal Ripken Jr. in June in St. Louis.