ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Throughout the month of March, KTAB and Big Country Homepage (BCH) has featured the incredible stories of four women of the Big Country who were nominated by those they’ve impacted most with their selfless acts.

Thursday, KTAB’s Joni McKinnon announced the winner of our KTAB’s 2023 Remarkable Women contest: Our first featured nominee, Teresa Clickener!

Let’s meet our four Remarkable Women nominees

Teresa Clickener

U.S. Army Veteran, Abilene nurse, loving wife. By all accounts, Clickener has a story worth telling. She joined the Army and worked as a nurse in Afghanistan, providing care to our deployed troops, and even helped civilians and prisoners of war.

Teresa Clickener: 2023 Remarkable Women contest nominee

In August of 2021, Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan fell when two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds flocking to Kabul’s airport. Afghan and U.S. officials said the attacks killed at least 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.

When Bagram fell, Clickener told KTAB because of how the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan played out, it left her and many others in a state of mind similar to Veterans of the Vietnam War. She would go on to help Afghan refugees transition to life in the states.

“These three families, it has been such a wonderful journey to be on this with them,” Clickener beamed. “They came here with literally nothing except whatever clothes they could put on. I partnered up with my husband, as well as another Veteran who I served with in Afghanistan, and we were able to reach out to the community and find them resources: Get them their driver’s license, food, bedding, and all the basic necessities that we take for granted.”

Clickener was nominated for KTAB’s 2023 Remarkable Women contest by her loving husband, Robert.

“She is a remarkable person that I have learned so much from, even in my own journeys in PTSD, just watching how she copes with stuff, and by being a servant and giving of ourselves,” delighted Clickener’s husband.

Pat Wicker

For several generations, longtime educator, Pat Wicker, shaped the minds of Abilenians. A true Abilene original, Wicker graduated from Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) and later returned to town to teach elementary school students in 1956. She would spend more than 40 years teaching.

Pat Wicker: 2023 Remarkable Women contest nominee

During that time, she gave birth to her two beloved daughters with her college sweetheart and continued to devote her life to her career. She retired in the early 1990s, but she would not slow down.

Now 90 years old, Wicker continues to involve herself in the community. She’s certainly kept herself busy serving on various boards for HSU, the Grace Museum, the Abilene Woman’s Club, the Red Hat Society, and the Eastern Star, and a few more.

“I guess I’m just self-motivated to keep busy!” Wicker told KTAB. “I hope through my involvement I may have touched some lives along the way.”

Wicker was nominated for KTAB’s 2023 Remarkable Women contest by her inspired youngest daughter, Tamela Henington, who said she nominated her mother for her inspiring determination, positive outlook on life, and independence at any age.

“She’s just busy! I have never ever heard her say, ‘I’m tired,’” said Henington. “I just hope I’m able to do half as much as she does at the age of 90, but I know I won’t… That’s just remarkable!”

Marsha Spinks

Traveling to Coleman, you might be able to find a mom, wife, mentor, and realtor who doesn’t seem to have an off switch. Marsha Spinks is revered throughout the community as something of an asset.

Marsha Spinks: 2023 Remarkable Women contest nominee

She works as a real estate agent for Live Oak Realty and has two little ones at home. No matter, in what little spare time she does have she also serves as chairman for the board of Coleman First Methodist Preschool, she’s VP of the Coleman County Foundation, board member on the Coleman Planning and Zoning Committee, and Appraisal Review board member. What’s more, she is also a charity organizer. All can agree, everything Spinks does is with 100% effort.

“I’m a big proponent of Dave Ramsey, and he always says you have to live like no one else so you can give like no one else,” Spinks explained. “We all have 24 hours in a day, so I don’t know that I find time any better than anyone else does necessarily but… There’s a balance of doing something for everybody else all day long and trying to find a little bit of you time in there, too.”

Spinks’s charitable efforts include assisting in fundraising for kids in need of early education, as well as various community efforts through the community foundation. She coordinates both a senior citizen gift and flower program, and a care package operation that sends toiletries, snacks, and essentials to military members serving in remote areas.

Spinks was nominated for KTAB’s 2023 Remarkable Women contest for her tireless dedication to her community and her country.

Dr. Sandra Hazelip

Dr. Sandra Hazelip is no stranger to KTAB and BCH. Most recently, she’s been in the local news and even reached national and international headlines for an amazing trip she’s on with her best friend, Ellie Hamby – their ‘Around the World in 80 days – at 81 and Still on the Run’ tour of the world. The dynamic duo is scheduled to return home to Abilene April 1. Her story definitely does not start there, though.

Dr. Sandra Hazelip: 2023 Remarkable Women contest nominee

Before she was “Dr. Hazelip,” she was simply “Sandy,” wife and mother. As a new mom, 34-year-old Sandy’s brand-new bouncing baby boy was diagnosed with diabetes. With a natural desire to be the best mom possible, she researched and researched some more.

“I read everything I could get my hands on about diabetes, and the more I learned about diabetes the more I wanted to learn about medicine in general,” Dr. Hazelip told KTAB. “I said [to my husband], ‘Donald, I want to become a doctor.'”

She went to college, medical school, and got her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. After becoming board-certified in geriatric medicine, she made her way to Abilene Regional Hospital, and she would treat patients with the utmost care and respect.

Dr. Hazelip didn’t want to limit herself to just the four walls of an exam room. She soon would go on annual medical and ministry missions around the world. She said she saw to the physical and spiritual health of people in Zambia, Cambodia, Germany, and Russia – among other destinations.

Coming full-circle, Dr. Hazelip had the opportunity to speak at a four-day seminar to Cambodian physicians about diabetes.

Dr. Hazelip was nominated for KTAB’s 2023 Remarkable Women contest for her devotion to her practice, community, patients, and so much more.

All four and of these nominees are truly awe-inspiring, but, of course, only one can win. As the Big Country and KTAB’s 2023 Remarkable Woman, Teresa Clickener will be a finalist for KTAB’s parent company, Nexstar’s national Remarkable Women contest. She will also be awarded a cash prize to keep, plus a cash prize to donate to the charity of her choosing. Congratulations, Teresa, you earned it!