There are many words one might use to describe Tamberly Stone.
As the Program Manager of Oakdale Center for Human Services and an Oakdale High School alum, Stone is well known for her selfless nature, as well as her passion for helping others. A longtime volunteer and friend to many, Stone is one known for loving on people and being of service when needed.
In her personal life she is the mother of two, daughter Haleigh from her first marriage and son Hunter who blessed the life of Stone and her husband Brian. Stone is also a caregiver for her mother who began battling cancer four years ago. The two women spend a lot of time on the road to UCSF for treatment and doctor’s appointments. In short, Stone is one busy lady.
Among all the words used to describe Stone, the word “winner” may now be added to the list, in a context not used before. The professional and mother of two was recently named the first winner of the #LoveTacori contest, earning her a shopping spree of $20,000 in Tacori jewelry.
“I really love this line. It’s just really unique and it’s beautiful,” Stone shared of the Los Angeles based jewelry line, noting that her husband proposed with a Tacori ring created with his mother’s diamond as the center stone. The couple was married in May, 2013.
Life with a teenage daughter and three-year-old son, as well as a job as caregiver and Program Manager for a local non-profit leaves very little alone time for the local couple. Looking to reconnect with her husband, Stone decided to plan an overnight getaway for the two of them.
“When we dated we did a lot of little overnight trips,” she shared. “It’s what held us together, because of the work that I do and living in Oakdale. The only way to really connect is to do stuff like that.”
In search of anonymity, a mild climate and a beautiful location, a getaway to Palo Alto was planned for mid-August.
Excited for the opportunity to have adult time with her husband, she proposed they stop by Baron’s Jewelry in Dublin to have her Tacori wedding ring cleaned, as well as enter a contest she had learned of in July.
“I’ve always loved my wedding set. It’s always been really special to me,” she said.
With her sights on an anniversary band to accompany the ring she loved, the Tacori fan thought she’d simply try one on, post a photo and enter the contest – simple.
What she never envisioned was that the simple stop en route to an overnight getaway would result in a win of the contest of her dreams.
“When we went away on that trip overnight, it was only 28 hours,” she shared, “it was one of the best memories I’ve had with my husband. Just because we could just be us and we really haven’t been able to just be us in so long.
“My life feels heavy to me (at times) because it’s my life,” she continued. “I obviously have a lot going on in my life, but I feel like God gives me nuggets of things that help me to know I’m going to be okay and I can push forward through the hard.”
This “nugget” as she likes to call it, came in the early hours of the morning of the Tuesday following a memorable Labor Day weekend shared with her family.
“I was reflecting and thinking about the weekend on Tuesday morning and feeling grateful for numerous things,” she said.
Turning to her e-mail she saw a subject stating “Hello Winner. Open me ASAP! #LoveTacori”
In disbelief that the winner could indeed be her, Stone reviewed the details and ran through a mental checklist of sorts to help reassure herself that this could actually be happening to her. After several e-mails with a company representative as well as a social media post stating the winner had been contacted and “stay tuned” the reality started to resonate.
“It’s all surreal,” she said of the days which have followed. “I’m just a little Oakdale girl who takes her coffee to look at the cows every morning. Goes to work and loves what I do every day.”
Yet as she speaks of what lies ahead, emotion quickly follows.
Stone’s daughter turns 16 this month and she shared she’d been searching Etsy for the past several months in search of the perfect special piece of jewelry for her daughter – until now.
“I wanted something special for her 16th birthday,” she confided.
Now her daughter Haleigh will have exactly that. The company has offered to make her something special for the memorable birthday or she can shop for something in the store. Stone also has a list of people she would like to buy pieces for.
As a first time winner for the company the fun continues beyond the $20,000 jewelry win. In mid-October she and her family, along with her mom will be special guests at Barons along with members of the Tacori team who will fly up to film a video featuring Stone and her family.
“I feel like a princess. I just can’t even fathom all of this,” the winner said. “I’ve been trying to process this slowly. I started thinking of all the people I want to buy things for. It’s really less about me.
“Those are things that are really important to me,” she shared of sharing the prize. “To be able to buy a $500 necklace or earrings for those people, it really means a lot to me. Those things are the most important to me.”
For herself her current list is both short and simple, a pair of diamond earrings and the anniversary band she longed for to mark her future 10th anniversary.
As she talks about her gifts and the shopping, emotion begins to leak from her eyes. Emotion from a woman who was once a single mom just trying to give her daughter a good life. Emotion from a daughter who just wants her mom to be well. Emotion from a woman who is used to being the giver in life.
“I guess in a way I don’t feel worthy of it,” she said, choking back emotion. “You know I just do, because I do. I don’t need to receive. I don’t look to receive. So in some ways it’s super hard to receive, when you’re just used to giving.”
The win also couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I guess I didn’t know I needed these nuggets, but I guess I did,” she acknowledged with tear-filled eyes. “It was a nugget. The biggest one ever, but it was a ‘you’re going to be okay’.”