Outstanding Senior Spotlight - Helen Holmes
Helen Holmes is one of the most outstanding seniors in the West Ken Lark community. She is the founding member of the “Early Morning Walkers Program” at West Ken Lark Park, a group in which she has been an active member for over 28 years. The group meets Monday through Friday at 5am and was initially called the Early Morning Walkers, but the name was later changed to the “Early Walking Lizards.” Helen is also an active member of the Senior Silver Sneakers Program at WKLP.
Helen was born on April 7, 1939 in Pahokee, Florida (also known as "The Muck"). Her mother named her after an actress on a soap opera. As a child, she enjoyed playing basketball and with doll houses. She always wanted to make a difference in other people lives which ignited her passion of caring for other people. Helen moved to Lauderhill, Florida on September 1, 1966. She worked in the Beauty Shop at Saks 5th Avenue in the Galleria Mall and was one of two African-Americans to receive employment there at that time.
She attended Everglades High, Barry University, Nova and North Carolina University College and received her formal training and education at these prestigious institutions.
She is a single mother of one son and retired from Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School as a Community Liaison/Substitute Teacher with over 44 years of outstanding service. She was nicknamed “Queen” by the Principal of MLK Jr. Elementary School and voted Employee of the Year due to the way she carried herself, which was with grace while displaying love for everyone she met.
Helen, along with the Principal of MLK Jr. Elementary, were fortunate to be invited to a breakfast event where she had the opportunity to meet and greet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife Coretta Scott King. And in another unique occasion, she was invited to President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. Ms. Holmes considers her trip to Yugoslavia as one of her more memorable experiences, since this country was bombed one and a half years later.
During her spare time, her hobbies are reading Maya Angelou books and planning events for church organizations, weddings, proms, and also creating gift baskets for any and all occasions.
Special thanks to Ms. Helen Holmes and the West Ken Lark Park staff for providing the above information.