SPAN founder retires

Published 10:18 am Monday, November 13, 2023

By Lance Gaither

On Tuesday Nov. 7, a retirement party was held at the Centenary Methodist Church for Lou Ann Abbott, the founder of the Special Persons Advocacy Network.

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“She has probably served more hours than all of us together,” said SPAN president Bobbie Hancock.

Abbot founded SPAN 26 years ago for her son, Stephen. Despite beginning with just $15, the members of SPAN worked hard through a variety of fundraisers, and today, SPAN is active throughout the community. In 2022, SPAN was able to donate $40,000 to the Kendyl and Friends Foundation.

“We invested our money,” said SPAN board member David Maynard. “We would go to community events and sell pizzas, sodas. There is no telling me how many yard sales we had. We raised that money; it wasn’t given to us. We earned it with our hard work.”

Abbott’s son died two years ago, and she is retiring to an assisted-living facility closer to her family. Although other SPAN members are sad to see her go, they are happy she will have and have some time for herself.

“I hate to leave,” she said, “but I am glad I won’t have to cook anymore.”