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Celebrating exceptional women

Long-time Kitsap County resident Mary Randolph’s body may be in its 80s, but her mind and wit are still in high gear. Randolph is one of 16 women who were named as the YWCA’s Women of Achievement this year at a Tuesday luncheon at the Kitsap Golf and Country Club.

“I’m old. I think I walked in the first Race for the Cure. It was for leprosy,” she joked while accepting her award.

Randolph’s volunteer work includes 25 years as a volunteer for Martha and Mary Day Care, working in the soup kitchen at Saint Olaf’s Catholic Church and volunteering for the Chuckwagon Senior Nutrition Program.

“Volunteer. Don’t make age be an issue,” she said while accepting her award. “Do something every day for someone else.”

Claire Shearer, assistant director of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, reminded the crowd of about 200 that good deeds are always returned. She asked how many in attendance had ever performed a random act of kindness, such as opening a door for someone else or taking a parking spot further away from a destination so someone else can have a closer spot.

“Every act of kindness you perform is passed on many times,” Shearer said.

Other honorees included Elizabeth Annis, a sophomore at Bainbridge High School; Jessica Annis, a junior at Bainbridge High School; Maggie Brewton-Hight, co-owner of Brewton-Hight Insurance and Financial Services; Vicki Gambrell of NUWC Keyport; Elizabeth Gilje of KPS Health Plans; Miah Harris, a senior at Olympic High School; Dianne Juhl of Living Leadership Legacies; Ann Lovell, community activist; Barbara Markovich, community volunteer; Carla Olson of the Academy of Dance; Terri O’Neill, Kitsap County public information officer; Comm. Margaret Pinkerton, retired executive officer of Naval Station Bremerton; Denise Rahman, co-owner of Rumple New Skins; and Dianne Robinson, Bremerton City Council member.

The program began in 1989 with one woman honored: Amy Burnett, owner of the Amy Burnett Gallery on Pacific Avenue. Burnett was honored for helping raise money for the YWCA’s battered women’s shelter.

The Rev. Gretchen Wood, representing the YWCA, asked Burnett for a donation for the shelter, Burnett said. At the time, Burnett was doing a show in Seattle and suggested she could donate the rights to a painting. Burnett chose “Time Circle of a Woman,” which portrayed a battered woman and what she had gone through in her life. The print graced the cover of this year’s program.

An edition of 500 prints were created and Burnett autographed and numbered each print. In all, the print raised about $20,000 in six months for the shelter.

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