By Stacy Smith
She wore red for her interview for the Ms. East Glen Center for Nursing and Rehab Pageant.
“Red is a power color,” said Annie Avery.
She wore purple for the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant.
“Purple is for passion,” said Avery.
Her color schemes work. Annie Avery is the powerful and passionate winner of the 2018 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant, and has much leadership to share.
At age 80, she brings her skills and talents that she employed in New Orleans as an historic preservationist, community organizer and motivational speaker to her new role as Ms. Alabama Nursing Home.
“I want to support programs in our nursing homes. I want to get a list of all the nursing homes in Alabama, and plan visits with as many as we can. I want to start Ladies in Red groups in as many nursing homes as possible because everyone has a past. Many of our nursing home residents were nurses or teachers. They should share what they know, and we should celebrate that,” said Avery.
Ladies in Red is an organization that Avery founded in New Orleans. In Alabama, she would like to focus on Ladies in Red groups at nursing homes, and showcase a lady of accomplishment every month. The slogan for Ladies in Red is, “Where Everyone is Somebody.”
After Hurricane Katrina devastated her hometown of New Orleans, Annie Avery moved to Denver, Colorado, for about a year and a half. She moved back to New Orleans because one of her two sons, Calvin James Avery, was there.
Calvin Avery subsequently retired, sold his house, and together they decided to move to Birmingham because he discovered a strong Buffalo Soldiers chapter and a Corvette Club in the Magic City. Her son now works for Jefferson County as a resource officer, and his wife, children, and mother are all happily settled in Birmingham.
“I had been to Mobile, but had never been to Birmingham. I was looking for a new venture. My husband of 48 years, James Avery, was deceased,” said Annie Avery.
She likes Alabama. The local jazz and blues music and the historic houses remind her of New Orleans.
Avery does not have any sisters or brothers. When she moved to live at East Glen she said, “Look at all the brothers and sisters I now have!”
She believes in working toward success, she believes in getting things accomplished. She is proud of her success in earning a Realtor’s license. She is proud of her success in being able to put an historic plaque on the New Orleans birthplace of blues legend B.B. King.
While on a visit to South Africa, she spoke to 1,000 students about success, and how important it is to be a star.
“I took the children outside, and we looked at the stars in the night sky. I told them that this is how many stars are also shining right here in front of me. Kids must not be nonchalant. I want children to use their brain and shine,” said Avery.
She also feels that strongly and passionately about the people who live in Alabama nursing homes and in their success, from winning bingo to serving as president of their local organizations.
“I am happy to serve. I have always been a leader. This year as Ms. Alabama Nursing Home is no time for me to stop,” said Avery.
With her strength, passion, and history of success, Annie Avery is shining bright as Ms. Alabama Nursing Home 2018, and invites all to use their power and passion to shine together with her.