AWARE will hold its tenth annual Women of Distinction dinner and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. on March 11 at Centennial Hall. The event will honor four distinguished women - Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Lynnette Dihle, Sally Rue and Tamara Collins - who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of Juneau's women and children. Community members submitted nominations and honorees were selected by AWARE's board of directors.
Dauenhauer, Keixwnei in Tlingit, grew up in Juneau, Hoonah and the subsistence waters around Icy Strait, Glacier Bay and Cape Spencer. She spoke only Tlingit until she was eight and has devoted her career to preserving the Tlingit language and culture for future generations. She has won numerous other honors and awards, including the Alaska Governor's Award for the Arts. She has also written numerous books on the Tlingit language and folklore.
Riverbend Elementary counselor Dihle has been working with children since she graduated from college in 1974. A child development major, she took a job as a group counselor in a California children's home. Dihle became a teacher in the Juneau School District and worked for four years with first- and third- graders. She also worked for nine years at a family support center, providing education and counseling to adult and teen parents, and as a private therapist for two years before joining the staff at Riverbend School in 1997.
Rue, director of the Association of Alaska School Boards' Initiative for Community Engagement (Alaska ICE), tutored inner-city high school students before she began working with Alaska ICE. She served on the board of directors of her children's care center in Anchorage, which led to volunteering in their classroom as they entered grade school. She also served on the Juneau School Board for six years and the State Board of Education for two years.
Collins is a caregiver for Bartlett Regional Hospital's Chemotherapy/Infusion Unit and was instrumental in its creation. Six years ago, she assembled a chemotherapy subcommittee, with the goal of planning for the future of Bartlett's services to cancer patients by examining its past. The unit was a direct result of that committee. Today it provides space for patients fighting cancer and other chronic conditions to receive the treatment and support they need to beat their illness.
The Women of Distinction Dinner will feature a no-host bar and silent auction, with music graciously provided by the Rob Cohen Trio. The public is invited to attend and can purchase tickets by calling 586-6623. The cost is $50 per person, or $600 to reserve a table for 10.