A message of thanks from AWARE in the wake of a successful event

After the Women of Distinction presentation, the honorees, from left, Megan Gregory, Joan O'Keefe, Sharron Lobaugh and Amy Dressel pose with AWARE Exectutive Director Saralyn Tabachnik.

AWARE’s 16th Annual Women of Distinction dinner and silent auction was a magnificent success! It was a privilege to recognize this year’s honorees Sharron Lobaugh, Amy Dressel, Joan O’Keefe, and Megan Gregory. Their unique contributions to our community and their words of wisdom and inspiration made the evening a wonderful celebration.


AWARE extends gratitude and appreciation to our Juneau community for your overwhelming support. This annual fundraising event was made possible by numerous people offering generous gifts of expertise, energy, and heart.

Our thanks to Representative Beth Kerttula for her opening remarks and presenting the Legislative Citations to the honorees. We give thanks to Katharine Heumann for her joyful and lively hosting as Mistress of Ceremony; to Rob Cohen, Adrian Minne, and Clay Good for graciously providing opening music; to Allison Warden for warming us up with her creative and custom raps honoring the women. We thank Amy Carroll for designing the printed program, Jeanette St. George for producing bid sheets and table names, and Rie Munoz for her beautiful artwork. Thank you to Janet Lumiansky for videoing and Jeremy Gieser for photographing the night.

AWARE would also like to thank the Women of Distinction Corporate Sponsors and Precious Gems. Their generous financial support helps make this event all that it is. Special thanks to our Silver Corporate Sponsors, contributing $1000, Alaska Communications and First National Bank. We thank our precious gems, Diamonds: Wellspring, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Sealaska Corporation, Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Dr Nell Wagoner, Glacier Pediatrics, and Wal-Mart; Sapphires: Juneau Family Health & Birth Center; Emeralds: Tlingit & Haida Indians of the City & Borough of Juneau; Rubies: Elgee Rehfeld Mertz, CPA, MRV Architects, Al and Diane Adams, Sam Kito Jr., Cathy Carter and the Barlett Family, Southeast Alaska Animal Medical Center, Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast at Glacier Bay, Thyes Shaub, and IBEW Local 1547. We offer a special thank you to KINY Hometown Radio and KTOO Public Broadcasting, and the Plant People for their generous in-kind contributions.

Thank you to our gracious auction donors! Both businesses and individuals are listed on our website awareak.org – thank you for making our dinner a financial success and loads of fun!

We also thank the hundreds of people who attended the dinner, our new members and those who made a financial contribution or bought an advertisement in the Women of Distinction program book. The proceeds from the Women of Distinction event further AWARE’s work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. It is a wonderful opportunity to honor women who have made a difference while supporting work to end violence in our community.

Finally, I would like to thank the dedicated Board of Directors; Co-Chairs Cheryl Eldemar and Chris Burke, Vice Chair Michele Masuda, Secretary Tisha Gieser, Treasurer Maren Haavig, and members Robin Gilcrist, Jeff Irwin, Martha Moore, Natalie Powers, Mary Aparezuk Schlosser, Jessica Srader, and the staff at AWARE who worked tirelessly to bring the details of the event to life. Thanks for your commitment to AWARE and our mission.

AWARE’s ability to work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is greatly enhanced by Juneau’s community support. Together we are working towards a community of respect for ourselves and others, where we can all live in peace and freedom. Thank you for your support. I look forward to seeing you at the Choose Respect March and Rally at noon on Thursday, March 29 at the Capitol Steps, where we bring the inspiration of our Women of Distinction honorees’ words into action!

Saralyn Tabachnick

Executive Director

Aiding Women in Abuse & Rape Emergencies, Inc.


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