About Green Living to a Tee
Therese Forton-Barnes, aka “Tee”
Childhood – Growing up Green
Therese (Tee) grew up in Buffalo, New York with her three older sisters and one younger brother. She was raised in the City of Buffalo, went to an all girls high school, Nardin Academy.
While growing up, her mother was always instilling a healthy diet. While all the fast food chains starting to “pop” up all over, her Mom was always against fast food and processed foods and made sure her family received a diet just like her Mother fed her. Everything was typically made from scratch, and mostly organic. Her Mother is mostly Lebanese and Italian, and she would often cook meals learned from her Mom. Fresh fruit was always on the table and very seldom was there ever any processed foods. She shopped at the local Organic Food Coop, which is where the entire family still shops today, called the Lexington Food Coop.
College – Health minor with a Business major
Since learning from her Mom, Tee has been advocating healthy living for most of her life. She had always had dreams of having her own health food store, but once out of college, she found another true love of work when hired at an events planning company in Buffalo. A few years later, she formed her own business, Events to a Tee. She has planned over 550 events in the Buffalo area. Some of the her clients have been Hall of Fame Quarterback, Jim Kelly, including his wedding, retirement roast, Super Bowl parties, and his annual golf tournaments for the past 27 years; She also plans events for Buffalo Sabres goalie, Ryan Miller along with many corporate and not-for-profit clients.
A very scary experience – In January of 2008, Therese was told she had a “large tumor” in her left breast and that she had to have it surgically removed. In the gurney, at the hospital, and ready for surgery, she was then re-analyzed by the radiologist and was told they made a mistake. To make a VERY long story short, she went through many weeks of agony and pain. This drove her even more to start her push towards helping others to become more aware of what ‘could’ be contributing to the elevated cancer rates, and especially breast cancer.
Today – Promoter of healthy living and organic lifestyles
Even though event planning is in her blood, creating awareness of home toxins is in her heart. After studying Health Sciences in College and going on to educating herself on healthy living for the past twenty seven years, she is now trying to help others learn from what she has mastered as “Health is Wealth”….take “stock” in your health – it will be your best investment.
She does home toxin assessments, where she will come to your house and advise you on all the areas that toxic poisons could be lurking in your home and entering your body, along with the food you are eating. After hearing of so many friends and acquaintances developing cancer, she felt a need to share with others what she has learned.
Tee also wrote two children’s books; visit Zaki & Venus. She is married to Tom Barnes, also a Buffalo native, and shares a home with their two labradors, Zaki and Venus. She has two step-sons she adores, Connor and Ryan. She went through 8 years of trying to get pregnant. After five IVF’s, three miscarriages, four different doctors, trips to see specialists in NYC and LA, and a failed adoption, she gave into the fact that she was to never have children of her own. She is very close to family and friends and does everything in her power to keep them all healthy and toxic and chemical free.
A new non-profit project that she started in 2007 is “Carvings for a Cause”. After a rare early Fall Buffalo snow storm in 2006, which destroyed over 40,000 trees, she collected some of the large tree trunks and had them carved into historical or important figures from the region; ie. Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tim Russert, Asa Harris, Red Jacket, etc. Tee is a firm believer in giving back to her community. She volunteers for many different not-for-profits and various events in the area. She is the President of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Board and has donated much time to Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. She is also very interested in Historic Preservation. Tee and Tom’s 100 plus year home was featured on Home and Garden Television (HGTV), Restore America, for the preservation and restoration of their historic home. She is very active in her alma maters. When in Buffalo and not working, Tee is usually spending time with her family and friends. She devotes a lot of time to them, which is a big reason why she has decided to live in Buffalo, which she firmly believes is America’s best Kept Secret!