Amory young professionals, from left, Krisi Boren, Alyssa Benedict and Sarah Cline Stevens, were among the nominees for this year’s Mud & Magnolias luncheon honoring the area’s most influential women.

AMORY – A trio of ladies representing areas of service from children to the elderly were among the nominees at this year’s Mud & Magnolias luncheon honoring the most influential women across its market area.

Monroe County’s delegation to the luncheon was comprised of Amory Main Street Director Alyssa Benedict, attorney Sarah Cline Stevens and Krisi Boren of the Full Tummy Project.

“Just to read the email informing me that I had been named a finalist among an unknown number of nominees from northeast Mississippi was humbling,” Boren said.

Boren’s mission with the Fully Tummy Project is to provide sacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare foods during weekends and school breaks for children who might otherwise go hungry. Stevens’ emphasis as an attorney is directed toward elder law and estate planning, while Benedict is the city’s leader for the downtown merchants’ association.

“It was indeed an honor to be nominated. There was a room full of impressive ladies at the luncheon,” Benedict said.

Stevens observed that the trio from Amory represented a broad area of service to the local community.

“It speaks highly of Monroe County. We’re getting involved [in our respective niches],” she said.

Benedict was quick to spread the credit around to all the people involved in Amory Main Street, saying everything she does takes a team of people, and it’s humbling.

“The community is needed to support your efforts. It’s hard to be influential by yourself. It takes a vision,” Boren said.

“We’re in service capacities, as are most honorees. The panel picked people that weren’t afraid to do something different,” Stevens said of the trio.

She used an analogy from the animal kingdom to describe their work in the community by saying, “a lion doesn’t need to tell you it’s a lion.”

“Can we walk out who we were created to be? We can make a difference with what we have rather than waiting to get what we feel we need to have to help with our efforts. It’s a leap of faith that has a domino effect,” Boren said, expanding on the thought in a philosophical way.

Stevens summarized the joint mission of the ladies as involving creativity, compassion and community, adding it’s a journey.

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