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What’s not to like about Trisha Hood; she’s part elegance, part environmentalist, part “down home girl”, part perfectionist – and an example to the community of what service is all about. Trisha and her husband Don, an internationally known eye doctor, have spent the last 33 years reaching out to help others.

The Hoods’ have been an instrumental part of the American Heart Association “Hearts for Life” organization. When Trisha was “Hearts for Life” Guild President, she was credited with increasing the guild membership by 20 percent.

Dr. Hood has had his own personal experiences with heart problems after suffering a heart attack in 1980. Trisha and Don are aware that the continuing advancements made with heart disease and the support of the American Heart Association contributors have helped to save many lives.

In September of 2004, Don was diagnosed with a very rare bone cancer. After undergoing treatment, the recovery prognosis is looking good for Dr. Hood. Trisha says: “Don continues to amaze us with his progress and resilience to his ongoing health challenges. We are extremely grateful for all we have and look forward to enjoying our lives ahead.”

Aside from their family and friends, part of what Trisha and Don enjoy and cherish is their unique “one-of-a-kind” home. Many areas of this exquisite home were built by Dr. Hood himself. Plus, the Hoods have a pot bellied pig named Laura as a pet that is 15 years old. Laura has her own quarters set up in the barn – also built by Don. Trish says 15 is pretty darn old for a pig.

Trisha Hood’s spirited personality, optimism, and charisma are hard to ignore. Even though she wears many hats for her family, friends, and the community, Trisha tries to keep her life as simple as possible and focus on what really counts. No matter what role Trisha plays, she always puts her heart and soul into everything she does. As the American Heart Association put it when they awarded Trish with the “2004 Non-Medical Volunteer of the Year”Award: “She is one of the strongest community advocates we have, and she is an inspiration to all she meets.”

At this time, what charitable organizations do you support? American Heart Association, Aware, Diabetes, Denver Center Alliance (DCPA), Kempe Foundation, Delta Zeta Foundation, and ‘College Student’ Fund.

What charitable event(s) do you really look forward to attending each year? “Go Red for Women” Luncheon, Heart Ball, Sushi, Sake & Sumo.

How did you become so passionate about giving back to the community? Certainly my upbringing; my Mother and Father’s role-modeling. My Mother taught us gratitude and my Father, generosity. Even the traveling salesman sat at our dinner table. My involvement with Heart came about through personal experience with Heart Disease in our family; starting with Don’s heart attack in 1980, during the pregnancy of our first child, Chelsey. Ironically, Chelsey is challenged with the family genes and, although, a marathon runner has dealt with blood clots and high cholesterol. Through my business, my passion was to inspire young and old to embrace positive action concerning our global challenges. As a commitment to our community, through my business, I volunteered time speaking at schools, businesses and religious establishments.

How did you become a “first responder” for the Victim’s Advocate Program with the Glendale Police Department? I got talked into going to a Homeland Security Meeting, where speakers who worked for the CIA and the FBI came in from Washington D.C.

There, I met a woman who had been a Victim’s Advocate for many, many years, and I thought to myself, wow, if that isn’t unconditional giving, what is. You learn about all the different crimes out there, domestic violence, child abuse, rape – you get extensive training - even with the Coroner’s office.

You are a first responder so you are called out in the middle of the night when a crime occurs. You are there at the most initial critical time of that victim’s experience - even though it might not get better for the victim, whatever you can do right then will probably affect the way they handle their situation from then on. So it’s a really important place to be. Yet the difference is with a more involved volunteer position like with Su Casa, where it’s ongoing for months and months, you can be there at the scene of the crime, do what you need to do, and hope you helped make the ship for that person go in the right direction after that.

Even though I’m on call, it’s something that is unconditional because you choose to do this, you choose to be there; and they also put you through a training that prepares you for disasters like Katrina. We were called to help process the people who came here to Colorado after the hurricane. If anything ever happened, I feel good that I have the training where I could be there to help people. I hope I do this for a long time.

When you were a young girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? I am a middle child of five children, who were great playmates for the creation of wonderful fantasies outdoors in the country. I loved being out in nature, where I was inspired by the vastness of my surroundings. Somewhere from there I guess I thought I might be a minister (short-lived as there were no female ministers back then) or maybe a teacher or counselor of some kind.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot The Abacos is my favorite. We kept our boat in Marsh Harbor for many years and cruised the islands with our family. It is a beautiful piece of paradise.

What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said to you? “You are the sunshine in my heart.” My Mother wrote those words on the corner of a torn brown bag and left it on my dresser before she left, after one of her visits to Colorado between chemotherapy treatments.

Is there a magazine or publication you can’t live without? Shift, at the Frontiers of Consciousness.

Is there a book you have read that inspired you so much - you recommend everyone read it? I always have 3 or 4 books in the works. I prefer non-fiction. Love to stretch my awareness to the possibilities of life’s purpose. Life is a great pot of homemade stew; a little ingredient from here, there and everywhere, let it simmer and hope that the essence of all the flavors blend into a palatable entrée. And the next step is to share the meal. So I often suggest books. My most recent is The Isaiah Effect by Gregg Braden.

Do you have any tips/secrets on the best way to deal with stress and worries? First of all, stop a moment and notice your breathing. Take four deep breathes and be present with each breath in and breathe out. (a constant lesson for me) If this is not sufficient, then visit an elderly or health-challenged friend. Be totally present with them. Listen, simply listen to them. Your stress will be gone.

What do you consider a priceless gift? Another’s presence.

What is something your parent’s taught you that you have never forgotten? Oh so many things. My parents were ideal. They each brought such different perspectives in to my life. I had balance, most of the time. My father enjoyed people, simply listening to their stories. He was a listener, a great gift for me to learn. My Mother was the most incredible woman who so multi-tasked in her life, it would minimize the ‘hectic’ lives of today. She taught me gratitude. So I would say, all together I learned to be present when people have something to share with you and to be grateful for every single happening in our lives - and for all of our friends and families.

Do you have a quote or saying that has helped guide you through life? “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill.

What is something you absolutely can’t live without? My children.

What are you focusing on the most these days? I am grateful for my Victim’s Advocate work, which is hands-on. I am currently doing some environmental research. And juggling all the other interests/meetings along the way.

What is your greatest strength? I am blessed with good health, so that I can be here for others.

What is your greatest weakness? Oh there are many, focusing on one might be a challenge or a ‘weakness’.

How do you stay so motivated and committed to charitable causes? I refer back to my quote, “we make a life by what we give”.

What are your favorite leisure time activities or hobbies? My challenge is staying focused on a few, since I enjoy so many activities. I enjoy golf, gardening, painting, writing, visiting seniors and friends (especially my 92 year old friend, Opal) and most importantly, being available for friends/family when needed.

What is your biggest fear? Not completing this questionnaire before Nancy needs it.

What would you still like to learn how to do? Be a perfect parent, friend and sibling.

Would you like to live somewhere other than Colorado at some point – or is Colorado your forever home? We travel often, but I love Colorado, it is my home.

What should we all be working on these days to make our country better for future generations? We should be working on our own attitudes. We should focus on the good things that are happening around us. I am a firm believer that you create what we fear. As a global family, we should be focusing on all the greatness of our world. If our communication with each other was one of positive messages, how could we not create a better future? The solutions are there, we simply need to tap into them. The young minds of the next generation are bubbling with ideas. Let’s nurture the young with possibilities.

How do we get our young people interested in charitable work and giving back to the community? This is a terrific follow-up question. If we can do the above for our youth, they will naturally want to give back. (Then there is Sushi, Sake & Sumo)

What’s in the future for Trisha Hood? Living day to day, appreciating all the love around me and doing my part in spreading it around, especially to those in lack.

Trisha’s Charitable & Community Involvement: American Heart Association Metro Board of Directors, Heart Ball Committees, Heart Fashion Show Luncheons, Hearts for Life Guild, Go Red for Women Committees; Trisha & daughter Chelsey represented Colorado at the 2004 White House Press Conference of the President’s signing of the “Proclamation of Heart Month” in Washington D.C.; American Foundation for Vision Awareness; Colorado Optometric Association Auxiliary Board; Earth Gardens Environmental Education Programs; Delta Zeta Foundation; College Student Fund; AWARE; Denver Center Alliance; Kempe Children’s Foundation; Diabetes.

Trisha was featured in Business-related articles in: Family Circle, Entrepreneurial Woman, Executive Female, E-Environmental Magazine, Women Leaders of Colorado, Save Money & Save the Earth, Columbine Community Courier, Rocky Mountain News, New Direction for Women, and the Philadelphia Enquirer.