WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — All throughout March, News 13 celebrates Remarkable Women that make a difference in the Panhandle.
These women were nominated by News 13 viewers and the finalists were selected by local judges.
Our Remarkable Woman 2022 winner is Susie Sewell, a Washington County woman with a passion for helping others and making an impact.
One place you may recognize Susie is from behind the keys of a piano. She has played since the second grade, most often at Live Oak Baptist Church.
“It’s meant a lot to serve in a small community,” Sewell said.
Her grandparents started the church more than 100 years ago, and it is one of the places Susie devotes a lot of her time.
“We put God first and then family is very important,” said Sewell.
Susie and her husband, Ricky, have been together for more than 40 years. He, along with her children and grandchildren take center stage in her life.
“Loving them and trying to help them over the years has been real special,” Sewell said.
Susie said she’s always had a passion for caring for others, which actually led her to a career in nursing.
“It wasn’t just something I pulled out of the air,” she said. “It’s a calling.”
Susie’s daughter shares the same calling for nursing, and the two even graduated with their Master’s degrees together.
Susie worked in public health for 31 years. In 2005, she became the Director of Nursing for the Washington County Health Department. Eventually, she ended up overseeing both Washington and Holmes counties.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she was right on the frontlines.
“We got the vaccine one day and myself along with some others at the health department began to put together a plan and were giving vaccines out the following day,” said Sewell.
The position also gave her skills that would prove to be crucial, when Susie said she had a calling from God to do more in her life to give back.
“We needed to begin something in the community,” she said. “He didn’t tell me exactly what — but something to help others.”
Susie said that is what helped plant the seed for the Back 2 School Bash, an event that she started almost a decade ago at Live Oak Baptist Church.
The event is held every August and attracts hundreds of families. It provides them with haircuts, health screenings, physicals, and anything else they need before the school year, free of charge.
“The main goal was that people have an opportunity to seek him,” said Susie.
Now that Susie has retired from the health department, she said she plans to put more time into the event.
“They may want to run me off because I get real busy,” she said. “But we’re hoping to make it bigger and better this year.”
While many are inspired by Sewell’s giving heart, she credits everything she’s done to someone else.
“I just do things because I love people and I love the lord and he’s giving me that opportunity.”
Susie said she plans to hold her next Back 2 School Bash the second week of August.