AWARE's 14th annual Women of Distinction Dinner and Silent Auction on March 13 was a magnificent success. It was a privilege to recognize this year's honorees: Chris Ashenbrenner, Carolyn Brown, Bev Ingram and Helen Sarabia. 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 beloved Juneau community. This annual fundraising gala was made possible by a many people offering generous gifts of time, energy and heart.
We thank First Lady Sandy Parnell for her opening remarks, Sen. Dennis Egan for presenting awards to our honorees, and Rep. Anna Fairclough for presenting the awards to our honorees and for challenging each attendee to write a check to AWARE for $20 in order to raise an immediate $6,000-plus.
Thanks to Liz Dodd for her fun and lively hosting the Mistress of Ceremony duties; Rob Cohen, Brendan Fuhs and Clay Good for graciously providing opening music; and musician, composer, singer and 10-year-old Anna Graceman for adding her own special brilliance to an evening dedicated to the inspired lives of women.
We thank Amy Carroll for program production, Jeanette St. George for producing bid sheets and table names; and Rie Muñoz for her beautiful artwork. We appreciate the exceptional efforts toward the silent auction art direction and organization by Ann Rausch and Jennifer Watson. Thanks also to photographers Jeremy Gieser and Mary Vanderjack and videographers Julie Williams and Erin Burkert.
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: Wells Fargo and Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union. Thanks to Precious Gems: $1,000 Diamond, Alaska Housing Finance Corp., Dr, Nell Wagoner, ANDVSA, Barbara Ingram; $500 Emerald, MRV Architects, Jensen Yorba Lott and $250 Rubies: Sam Kito Jr., Elgee, Rehfeld, and Mertz, IBEW-Local 1547, Anne Lucas, Diane and Al Adams, and North Star Behavioral Health System for their generosity. We offer a special thank you to KTOO Public Broadcasting and Holland America Line, Baranof Hotel for their in-kind contributions.
Thank you to our generous silent auction donors. Both business and individuals are listed on our Web site, www.awareak.org. Thank you for your support in making our banquet a fun financial success!
We also thank the hundreds of people who attended the dinner, new AWARE 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 Chris Burke and Michele Masuda, Treasurer Cheryl Eldemar, Secretary Tisha Gieser, and members Robin Gilcrist, Cathy Johnson, Barbara Murray, Maren Haavig, Jeremy Hansen, Jessica Srader, Freda Westman, Jeff Irwin, Patti Bland, Emeritus 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 zero tolerance for interpersonal violence, where we can all live in peace and freedom.
Executive director, AWARE