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Epiphany came when singer realized she was just surviving

Naomi Judd to share her story at Horizon Goodwill gala

Naomi Judd to share her story at Horizon Goodwill gala

October 16, 2005|By JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Naomi Judd has experienced life as a single mother raising her children on welfare and food stamps, being abused by a boyfriend and being told she had less than three years to live.

She went on to become a successful country singer, ditched the boyfriend and was cured of the hepatitis C she was diagnosed with more than 14 years ago.

Her experiences allow her to identify with some Horizon Goodwill Industries clients, making her a good fit to speak at the agency's Golden Jubilee Gala at Fountainhead Country Club on Friday, Oct. 21, says Greg Evans, manager of marketing and communications for Horizon Goodwill Industries.

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"She's been in their shoes, some of the clients we serve," Evans says.

Horizon Goodwill provides disabled and disadvantaged people with job training opportunities and helps them find jobs, Evans says. Horizon Goodwill shops provide the agency with the funds to do that.

The agency serves 17 counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, including Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties, he says.

Also on hand at the dinner gala will be Christian singer Kellye Cash, a former Miss America. Cash, great-niece of the late Johnny Cash, will sing at the event and introduce Judd.

The International String Trio will perform during dinner.

Tickets are still available. Call Katie Hollendoner or Greg Evans at 301-733-7330 for information or tickets. Individual tickets cost $125 and include two cocktail vouchers, appetizers and dinner; $175 includes a chance to meet Naomi Judd. Tables for 10 also are available.

Judd says she will talk to the audience about what she's learned about how emotions, not intellect, drive behavior and how people learn how to thrive, not just survive.

In Chinese, the characters that make up the word "crisis" are the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity," says Judd in a recent telephone interview from her home south of Nashville, Tenn.

"Once we have that in our possibility, (our) mindset, we can make a conscious choice 'This doesn't work for me anymore. This isn't serving me,'" says Judd, 59.

One such instance occurred in the early 1970s when Judd was in her 20s and "fell" for an Oklahoma cowboy who later beat her.

"One night he almost killed me," says Judd, who then hid in a cheap motel with her children while police searched for him.

Trying to figure out how she'd gotten into this situation, Judd says she realized she had baited and set her own trap. With low or no self-esteem, she was attracted to a man who was an ex-convict on heroin.

"I was really clueless," she says. "That night really flipped me."

Judd will share with the Horizon Goodwill gala audience how people can have such epiphanies.

"I say you only get to be a victim once. After that, you're a volunteer. We all get one screw-up," Judd says.

"If I had gone back to him, then I would have been a volunteer," she says.

Since retiring from singing with her daughter, Wynonna, Judd has been asked to speak at numerous events such as the Horizon Goodwill gala event.

Judd, who also is the mother of actress Ashley Judd, wrote "Naomi's Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life," which was released in 2004.

Two more recent books she wrote are "The Transparent Life: 30 Proven Ways to Live Your Best" and the children's book "Gertie the Goldfish and the Christmas Surprise."

Judd also is getting ready to launch her new television show, "Naomi's New Morning," on Hallmark Channel on Sunday, Nov. 27.

She describes the show as a mix of Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dateline and some wacky segments.

The show's goal is "to give you information and options because, I say, one idea can change your whole life," she says.

Or as she calls it: "Shift happens."

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