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This week the Kitsap County YWCA is honoring 10 women for their contributions to our community.
These women are receiving the Women of Achievement distinction which the YWCA has presented annually since 1989. The honor is given to exceptional women who have contributed in business, government, politics, education, human services, as a volunteer or community activist, to the arts, or someone who has overcome all odds.
The award was first given in 1989 to Bremerton artist Amy Burnett for her work to keep the doors of the YWCA open. Burnett created a special painting titled “The Circle of a Woman,” and sold prints of this artwork to raise money for the YWCA. Her work kept the YWCA on secure financial footing and allowed its programs, including the ALIVE Shelter for victims of domestic violence, to remain open.
Every year since, the YWCA has accepted nominations from the community and members have spent hours reviewing potential honorees, to select only the most worthy women to be Women of Achievement.
This year’s class includes a principal of an architecture firm, the manager of a public broadcasting channel, an advocate for the Y’s ALIVE Shelter, a Superior Court judge, the owner of a hair salon, a volunteer and director with the Kitsap United Way, the executive director of a food bank, a pilot who is a captain with UPS, the president of a local chamber of commerce, and a woman dedicated to disability awareness and an anti-bullying program.
Each of them have listened to their heart and chosen a way that is meaningful to them to make a difference in our community. That alone shows that each of us can contribute, too, whatever our calling.
They are: Monica Blackwood, Char Burnette, Charlene Edmond, Jennifer Forbes, Jamie Haywood, Carol Johnson, Mary Nadar, Leslie Reynolds Taylor, Jennifer Zuver, and Rebekah Uhtoff.
These women join a group of more than 300 women who have been honored in the 25 years that the YWCA has named Women of Achievement. This list is impressive, to say the least.
Each woman being honored this year deserves our congratulations and our thanks. Because of the dedication of these women to their careers, their families and their communities, we have benefitted greatly.
Next time you see one of them, tell them how much they are appreciated.