CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Actress Sandra Bullock won an Oscar playing the strong, supportive white Memphis mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy, who adopted an often homeless African-American teen, Michael Oher in the movie “The Blind Side.” Wednesday the real Leigh Anne Tuohy was in South Florida.
Tuohy spoke to hundreds of women at the 13th Annual United Way Women’s Leadership breakfast.
“There are Michael Ohers in every city in the U.S. and they just need a chance and opportunity,” Tuohy said.
With the help of the Tuohy family, Oher went on to earn a football scholarship to College and now plays for the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.
“Everyone has value they just may not have the opportunity to be in the longitude and latitude that you were born in and it is our responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves,” declared Tuohy.
In the movie Bullock portrays Leigh Anne as a caring and compassionate woman determined to make a difference in people’s lives.
“Changing a life is life changing,” said Tuohy.
Both her work and her words are reaching further than she ever imagined.
“I thought it was fantastic one of the best ever and I’ve been to all of them. It was inspiring and a reminder of the great work the United Way does,” one attendee told CBS4’s Summer Knowles.
Tonya Sautier agreed. “It’s an inspiring story and she is absolutely right, it takes one to help one and that changes the world.”
“To us they are not just some bodies but someone’s,” said Tuohy. “I hope our story makes people look and say I want to do that. We hope they watch the Blind Side and say I can do that.”
About 900 women were in attendance and each has pledged at least $1,000 to the United Way to help with their mission of education, health and financial stability. All of the money raised will stay right here in Miami-Dade.