Thanks for supporting the Women of Distinction

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008

AWARE's 12th annual Women of Distinction dinner and silent auction was a magnificent success! It was a privilege to recognize this year's honorees Alberta Aspen, Sue Baxter, Helen Abbott-Watkins and Betsy Brenneman. Their unique contributions to our community and their words of wisdom and inspiration made this event an exceptional celebration.

AWARE extends gratitude and appreciation to our Juneau community for an amazing amount of support. This annual fundraising event was made possible by a variety of people offering generous gifts of time, energy, and heart. We would like to thank Sen. Kim Elton and Anna Kim, special staff assistant from the office of the governor for their opening remarks, and to Marla Berg outgoing AWARE board chairperson for presenting the awards. Also we thank Liz Dodd for her inimitable hosting the Master of Ceremony duties, the Rob Cohen Jazz Group for graciously providing music, the Auke Bay Elementary School Orca Singers and the Little Orcas with Ann Boochever, Conductor, and accompaniment by Karlyn Welling, Carol Stauffer and Scott Miller with a special cameo appearance by Percy the dove. We thank Amy Carroll for program production, Jeanette St. George for producing bid sheets and table names, Amy Newman for developing biographies for each of the women, and Rie Muñoz for beautiful artwork.

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 $2,500 Gold Corporate Sponsor: First National Bank Alaska, to our $1,000 Silver Sponsors: Sealaska, Wells Fargo, Dr. Nell Ann Wagoner M.D., F.A.C.O., and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Thanks to Precious Gems: $1,000 Diamond, Alaska Housing Finance Corp.; $750 Sapphire, Cathy Johnson, $500 Emerald, Nancy Maki, and $250 Rubies; Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribe of Alaska, Sam Kito, Jr., Albert Adams, Elgee, Rehfeld, and Mertz, and Deborah Hansen for their caring and kindness. A special thank you to KTOO Public Broadcasting and Holland America Line- Westours for their in-kind contributions.

Thank you for your generous auction donations to Alison Elgee, Pat & Gordon Jackson, Barbara Murray, Pat Harris, Michele Masuda, Marie Larsen & Larry Holland, Elizabeth Siddor, Lauren Anderson, Magil Pratt, Liz Blecker, Shirley Carlson, Gold Street Quilters, Loren & LaRae Jones, Annie Kaill's, Sarah Felix, Marla Berg, Carol Berg, Kathy Ruddy, Christine Hess, Cristina Reitz, Perseverance Theatre, Ian Fisk, Chan's Thai Kitchen, Pam Baker-Williams, Debi Knight Kennedy, NorthStar Trekking, Neil Slotnick, Heendei/ Donald Gregory, Fabienne Peter-Contesse, Wellspring, Linda Thomas, Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, Kim Metcalfe, Sandpiper Café, Bonnie Berg, WalMart, John Greeley, Bob Tkacz, Hangar on the Wharf, El Sombrero, Island Pub, Goldbelt Hotel, Rainforest Yoga, Karl Ashenbrenner, Janene Driscoll, Carole Baker, Pep's Packing, Nugget Outfitter, Marie Olson, Juneau Empire, Woodwind Sailing Adventures, Raintree Quilting, Annie Mae Lodge, Marcia Driscoll, Bob Doll, JRC/ The Alaska Club, Oliver's Trophies, The Art Department, Southeast Furniture Warehouse, Mt. Roberts Tramway, Mary Pat Schilly, Rosemary Hagevig, Jayne Andreen, Karen Housley, Costco, Thyes Shaub, Sharon Lobaugh, Shoefly, Ann Rausch, Valley Lumber and Building, Alaska Zip Line Adventures, Shar Fox, Terry Newman, Kim Elton, Jeanette St.George, Kathryn Toth, and Natalee Rothaus.

We would like to thank the hundreds of people who attended the dinner, the new members and to 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. If you missed this sold out event, KATH-TV will feature the evening highlights on upcoming Southeast Spotlight shows.

Finally, I would like to thank the dedicated Board of Directors; Co- Chairs Chris Burke and Patti Bland, Treasurer Michele Masuda, Secretary Robin Gilcrist, and members Shirley Carlson, Cathy Johnson, John Leque, Barbara Murray, Cheryl Eldemar, Ann Rausch, and the staff at AWARE who worked tirelessly to bring the details of the event to life. Special thanks to outgoing term limited board members John Leque, Sarah Felix, who served as secretary for two terms, and Marla Berg, who served as co-chair for two terms. 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 this culmination of community support. Together we are working toward a community of zero tolerance for interpersonal violence, where we can all live in peace and freedom.

Saralyn Tabachnick

Executive director, AWARE


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