YWCA recognizes local women’s achievements

The stairs outside the Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside were filled with diverse faces and colorful clothing as YWCA of Kitsap County’s Women of Achievement honorees of the past 20 years gathered for a photo.

A keepsake program, which was adorned with an Amy Burnett painting entitled “Time Circle of a Woman,” was given to all who attended and the blue skies outside were a gift from mother nature.

The 16 women honored for 2009 ranged from high school students to business owners with community involvement a common factor between all of them.

Joan Hanten, executive director of the Olympic College (OC) Foundation, was honored for her work helping students at OC pay their tuition.

Marilyn Gordon, project coordinator for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & IMF, was chosen for her involvement with community programs like Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County, The Lord’s Diner and The Angel Tree.

Clarissa Ingwaldson, a junior at North Mason High School, was selected for helping community members through the United Way’s Day of Caring and her position as team leader for Relay for Life.

Dale Russell, volunteer rescue coordinator at the Kitsap Humane Society, received accolades for her help finding homes for Kitsap County’s unwanted animals.

Carissa Daniels, senior advocate trainer for the Domestic Violence Healing Coalition, was picked for her role in helping victims of domestic violence.

Barbara P. Malich, chief executive officer of Peninsula Community Health Services, got her award for her work bringing affordable health care to low-income families.

Katha Miller-Winder, chair of the Conservation and Outreach Committee and the Kitsap Mountaineers, was recognized for her work teaching youth about conservation.

Deborah B. Hill, co-owner of Hill Moving Services, was awarded for her reputation of community involvement, especially in women-oriented projects.

Anita Williams, a volunteer at the Kitsap Historical Society, won over the selection committee with her dedication to the arts.

Keturah Edmond, a sophomore at Bremerton High School and the youngest recipient this year, got her award for volunteer work at the YWCA’s ALIVE shelter, as a tutor at West Hills Elementary and her position as president of the Black Student Union.

Karen Vargas, a mentor at Bainbridge Island High School, was selected to receive an award for helping students throughout the county.

Marsha Masters, president of the Kitsap County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), was given an award for her work with schools presenting mock crash events.

Julie Poston, owner of Rejuv Massage and Spa, was honored for being a young business woman and for working with other area businesses to help the community grow.

Lori Orberlander, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County, accelerated the building of homes from one per year to 11 per year, and for that she was recognized by the YWCA.

Estela Lopez, owner of the Tapita Hispanic Store, and Martitha May, chair of the Immigrant Assistance Program, were honored together for their efforts in raising more than $50,000 for immigrant services which were cut due to the current economic situation.

The event was successful and important, according to Linda Joyce, executive director of the YWCA.

“These women are an inspiration to everyone in the community,” Joyce said.

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