Mental Health Association board member Anne Lanier named ‘Woman of the Year’ by Junior League

MHA Fund Development Manager; Mary Silva, MHA Marketing Manager; Amy Wagner, Anne Lanier, MHA Board Chair; Dr. Karen Mersky, MHA Executive Director; Dr. Robert Brugnoli

NEWS RELEASE

A strong woman does not let tragedy tear her to shreds but instead accomplishes great things even though she is torn apart inside. That is exactly what Anne Lanier did when she tragically lost her daughter Becky from medical complications due to an eating disorder. Although her life was turned upside down Anne blossomed into a passionate community advocate. 

On April 18th the Junior League of Indian River elected Anne as the 2018 Woman of the Year – Honoring Women Who Shape the Community. A luncheon was held at The Moorings Yacht & Country Club in Vero Beach, to honor 25 women in four categories for their outstanding contributions to our community. These are women who demonstrate high ethical standards and are recognized as role models while having a strong sense of community responsibilities. The crowd cheered as Anne first won in her “Volunteer” category. After, it was no surprise to anyone (other than Anne) that she took the overall award for Women of the Year.

Anne drew strength from the memories of her daughter who, despite her illness, always reached out to help people she did not know. Anne honors Becky’s memory through the Rebecca Streetman Fund at Indian River Community Foundation. She established this foundation to support programs that focus on helping those with eating disorders or other mental health issues. Despite her painful memories, Anne speaks at schools and other events to discuss eating disorders. Anne organized and financially supported an all day Eating Disorder Forum in conjunction with the Alliance for Eating Disorders and the MHA in Vero Beach where 90 therapists attended to listen to experts on current issues and treatments related to eating disorders.  “I learned a number of therapists are unfamiliar with how to handle someone with an eating disorder”, said Anne. “I firmly believed that therapists need education on how eating disorders impact the community and how to properly treat individuals suffering from an eating disorder”. 

Anne was nominated for Women of the Year by the Mental Health Association in Indian River County where she has served six years as an active member of the Board of Directors. As a board member, she served on 5 different committees to better understand the MHA and to help make a more profound impact in the community. These efforts resulted in over half a million dollars of contributions to the MHA during her tenure. Anne tirelessly distributes the MHA’s message; “It’s Okay to Get Help”.

Aside from being a past Indian River County PTA president as well as a supporter of the local Humane Society, Anne has engaged in numerous charitable causes such as the Indian River Community Foundation, the Indian River Land Trust and Girls on the Run which teaches young girls about healthy lifestyles, positive body images and self respect. 

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