A tribute to Wayne Hollomon Price, 1943-2011
Wayne Hollomon Price felt beauty.
“She thought the environment held a piece of beauty,” explained John Bellett, Executive Director of the Hollomon Price Foundation and a longtime friend of Wayne’s. “She was moved by nature. I think most of us approach the world primarily on an intellectual level, but Wayne definitely approached it on a feeling level, which explains her connection to the environment and to people.”
It was these connections that inspired her to start the Hollomon Price Foundation, a fund dedicated to protecting and preserving the beauty of Earth. Through the Foundation, she brought together her family and closest friends to “try to serve and help our world to be a better place to live in,” as she would say.
“She got so excited about the Foundation,” Bellett remarks. “The annual meeting in February was really her favorite part of the year. It was like Christmas for her. And through those meetings, we got to experience her passion for the environment.”
But it wasn’t only close friends that Wayne touched through the Foundation. As much as she understood the bigger picture of environmental preservation and wanted to use her wealth to better the environment, what really inspired her were the people doing the conservation work.
Bellett recalls meeting representatives from the Poplar River First Nation based in Canada, with whom Hollomon Price had developed a close relationship via phone. “They just went on and on about how important Wayne was to them, and how she had changed their lives. She really had, too—out of the blue, this woman from Texas who loved to talk on the phone basically helped them save their land.”
While Hollomon Price’s original environmental passion was for rainforests, she called on board members to highlight other vital environmental work. Nancy Zatarain, one of the first board members, introduced her to Ocean Conservancy. “Wayne thought that the ocean was as important to Earth’s health as rainforests, so she was happy when Nancy brought Ocean Conservancy’s work to the Foundation,” Bellett says.
The Foundation’s support has been crucial to a number of environmental priorities at Ocean Conservancy, including restoration of the Gulf of Mexico from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in April 2010 as well as identification of solutions to the problem of ocean trash. Recently, the Foundation helped launch the inaugural meeting of the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, a unique coalition of industry, academia and conservation entities developing solutions to stem the flow of trash into our waterways and ocean.
Hollomon Price passed away in May 2011, but her spirit of giving and connecting people lives on. “Everybody on the board has a deep, personal connection to Wayne, so as we go forward, we can keep the integrity of her wishes first and foremost,” Bellett says.
As anyone who loves the ocean knows, real beauty lies beneath the surface. All of us at Ocean Conservancy thank Wayne Hollomon Price for her commitment to preserving the beauty of our ocean for generations to come.
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