Kelly’s 23rd Bride of the Year Erin Brown-Brown might also be the Mother of the Year or the Disabled Person of the Year. Stalked by tragedy, she turns each blow into a challenge and then into success which she shares with those around her.
There was not a dry eye in the room when Kelly’s House and Home’s Bride of the Month for October, 2014, took the stage as the new Bride of the Year 2014-15.
Erin lost a leg to bone cancer 11 years ago, lost her mother to lupus when she was only 17 and a daughter to an accident.
Her solution was sought after establishing Erin Brown Connects and the Erin Brown Foundation, which focuses on empowerment for the disabled and for young women. Started in 2006, the foundation’s sporting division provides advocacy and vocational training for persons with disabilities.
“I let them know that life is not over. We are able to do things, just differently. We still can get it done, perhaps with assistance from a device or accommodations like a ramp or a person holding a door. We just need a whole lot of patience. My personal journey is showing that no matter how hard it is there is a divine plan for all of us.
“I always remember that people may be born or pushed in a certain way, until they are unable to dream. I want to let them know they can do it. Life is not easy for any of us. Don’t hold on to the negative disadvantages. If you continue to push, something will happen,” Brown said.
She has organized a group for the Ride for Hope and while training for the Paralympics Triathlon in Rio, she discovered she was expecting a child.
“So, I will train for the NEXT Paralympics,” Brown said.
She and her husband Tametryo Brown, married in October, 2014 and are involved in the care of seven children, which includes their unborn child. He has three children; she has one son and they have his two recently orphaned nieces living with them and their baby is expected to arrive in July. Her ailing father also lives with them.
Vincent Vaughan, Kelly’s official photographer and long time judge for the Bride of the Year event, said, “Mrs. Brown takes all the oxygen with her when she leaves a room. She is phenomenal.”
Kelly’s House and Home President Nancy Kelly shared memories of her “46 years of happy marriage” to the late David Kelly and thanked the committed judges and bridal consultants who make the Bride of the Year and the Bridal Department such a success.”
“When Sara Parker and I came up with this idea, over a drink at the Village Squash Club, we never dreamed Kelly’s Bride of the Year would still be going strong 23 years later,” Kelly said.
Sara Parker, co-creator of the event as Kelly’s account executive with P. S. Advertising, now a realtor and TV producer– thanked Nancy Kelly and the Kelly’s family for the vision and hard work which have helped this promotion and Kelly’s to grow for 23 years.
“That’s nearly 300 Brides of the Month! Now on to the next 88 years of Kelly’s,” Parker said.
Runner up for the Bride of the Year was April’ s Bride of the Month, Alkeriria Rahming-McQuay, financial controller of Custom Computers Ltd. She is married to Ian Allenyne-McQuay, a physician with the Public Hospitals Authority.
The Bride of the Year receives a $1,000 gift certificate from Kelly’s House and Home plus hundreds of dollars in prizes including: six place settings and a platter and serving dish in Cornwell gold/green fine China from Noritake; a 12-piece red non-stick pot set by Kitchenaid; a Castalla three-tier glass server by Gibson Overseas; a pizza maker by Hamilton Beach; a Rowenta Iron; an Emory 16-piece dinnerware set by Mikasa; a Krups 120 cup coffee maker; a Pro Blend Metal Blender by Black & Decker; a Suncast hose mobile; a seven-piece bake ware set “Etch-Sand” by Corningware and six “Flame” crystal Bordeaux wine glasses by Stolze.
This year the runner up received: a $250 Gift Card from Kelly’s House and Home; Rachel Ray’s “Little Hoot” 16-piece dinnerware set by Meyer Company; “Vendome Gold” crystal wine glasses and champagne flutes from Noritake; a six-slice toaster oven by Black & Decker; a Rowenta Iron; a 12-cup Krups Coffee Maker.
Judges agreed, this year’s competition was even closer than usual.
Kelly’s 2014 Brides of the Month are: January, Dr. Kenva Fowler-McClam; February, Travante Miller-Wood; March, Kendrice Rolle-Coakley; April, Alkeiria Rahming-McQuay; May, Kyosen McPhee-Young; June, Dr. Tonia Lightbourn; July, Carlyne Smith-McKenzie; August, Dr. Janelle Osadebay-Brown; September, Davette Ferguson-Evans; October, Erin Brown-Brown; November, Olivia Braynen-Rolle; December, Elindera Ferguson-Knowles.
Kelly’s Bridal Department Head Beverley Maycock said, “It is so easy to enter our Bride of the Month and Bride of the Year competition. Simply come to Kelly’s House and Home Bridal Department in the Mall at Marathon and register your choices of bridal china and crystal. It’s that easy. Of course, you also can register all your bridal choices, right down to a barbeque grill for the bridegroom. Our well trained bridal consultants will help you find exactly what you want from our wide variety of products.”
Mrs. Kelly reiterated, “I want to thank our judges who each year selects brides who keep our bridal commitment strong. To our Brides of the Year, you are all winners. I wish you all success in your life and with your dreams.”