By PHIL NOBILE
To coincide with its message of female strength and transformation, the School of the Holy Child in Harrison invited bestselling author and CBS contributor Lee Woodruff to speak at a Dec. 4 event to share her views on faith and being a strong female.
The event, held at the Apawamis Country Club in Rye, consisted of Holy Child alumni, parents, faculty and more listening to Woodruff share stories and views on the modern day woman.
“The great thing about a room full of women is that we all get it,” Woodruff said. “Women are givers, we simply are.”
Although many may know Woodruff more so for her husband Bob, a veteran television journalist for ABC News, Lee Woodruff holds her own impressive accolades. She is a contributor to CBS News and the author of three books, one novel and two memoirs.
In settling on a guest speaker for the luncheon, Christina Webers, co-chair of the school’s annual luncheon event, said planners looked to Woodruff’s grace during hardship as an example of a strong woman.
“We picked her because we feel that she is such a good role model in terms of how she has dealt with adversity in her life,” Webers said. “She has made a lot of positive come out of negative.”
On Jan. 29, 2006, Bob Woodruff was critically injured in Iraq as a result of an improvised explosive device, IED, explosion while there reporting on the conflict. Only 27 days after being picked to replace Peter Jennings as co-anchor on ABC’s World News, Woodruff was nearly killed from the incident, and was placed in a medically induced coma for 36 days. He underwent nine surgeries, including initial operations to cut open portions of his skull due to the swelling of the brain. Eventually, Bob Woodruff was brought home to recover in Westchester in March of that year. Over a 13-month period until he returned to reporting, Woodruff went through intense cognitive rehabilitation to regain basic functioning skills.
Lee Woodruff told multiple stories about her husband’s recovery to the audience and focused on faith as a main motivator throughout the time her husband was in a coma, from which she was told by doctors he was not expected to recover due to the life threatening nature of the injuries.
“It’s not ‘sexy’ to talk about believing, but things go easier when you believe,” Lee Woodruff said, referring to her husband’s recovery period. “When you believe there is something bigger than you out there.”
From a local perspective, she advised members of the community to understand that there is more beyond their own community to be acknowledged, particularly during the holiday season.
“Rye is a ‘have’ community, so it’s easy to forget the communities that have-not,” Woodruff said. “It’s about digging into the community and solving the issues.”
Of Woodruff’s three books, her most famous is her New York Times bestseller “In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing,” co-authored with her husband, which focuses on the family’s recovery after the 2006 incident. Her other books are Perfectly Imperfect and Those We Love Most.