Hope Bryant Smith, namesake of the Hope Bryant Smith Memorial 5k and Fun Run, was a 1971 graduate of the University of Montevallo. She retired from UAB in 1995 as a medical technologist. Hope humbly shared her gifts of teaching, healing and helping. She served humanity in many aspects but most notable through her volunteer work with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Trinity United Methodist Church.
Hope was a long time ambassador and spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She served several years as chair and co-chair for the Komen Birmingham Race for the Cure and had a tremendous role in its growth (it is now the most attended running event in the state). She also served as the Birmingham affiliate volunteer chairperson in which capacity she coordinated volunteers for the following S.G. Komen Foundation events: Sister’s Luncheon, BMW Ultimate Drive, Women on Wheels, Southern Women’s Show and the Komen Birmingham Race for the Cure.
Her contribution to the S.G. Komen Foundation has been summed up as “far greater than that of many individuals dedication to their own families.” Hope’s dedication to the S.G. Komen Foundation was recognized nationally as she received the one of their highest honors, the National Lifetime Volunteer Award in 2001. Other awards associated with her volunteer work with cancer included the 1997 BMW Hometown Hero Award and the American Cancer Society Life Inspiration Award in 1996.
As a longtime member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Hope was more than just a member, she was a vital spirit who as her pastor stated, “helped bring the church alive.”
Additionally, she was a founding member of Interfaith Hospitality Network, a ministry to homeless families in the Birmingham area. Hope participated in one mission trip to the nation of Panama as well as an adult leader on youth mission trips in the U.S. She was a regular worker with Cross Training at Trinity, a ministry to junior high school students and was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Women. Along with all of these roles, she served on the Administrative Board and Board of Trustees at Trinity, spoke at Fellowship of Christian Athletes events and helped with Habitat for Humanity houses.
As one friend described her, “When Hope was born, God knew just what to name her because she has given Hope to all of us and we will never be the same because of her.”