Opinion

Honorees were ‘women of achievement

On Tuesday afternoon at the Kitsap Golf and Country Club, the YWCA of Kitsap County honored 16 women with the title of “Women of Achievement.”

They were dubbed as such because they all give selflessly to make Kitsap County a better place.

There were three teenaged honorees — sisters Elizabeth and Jessica Annis, a sophomore and junior at Bainbridge Island High School, respectively and Miah Harris, a senior at Olympic High School — and one honoree, Mary Randolph, who said she was so old she participated in the first-ever walk for the cure. At that time, she joked, “it was for leprosy.”

While the women ranged in ages, job titles and backgrounds, the one trait they all had in common was that they consistently put others above themselves.

Other honorees included Maggie Brewton-Hight, co-owner of Brewton-Hight Insurance and Financial Services; Vicki Gambrell of NUWC Keyport; Elizabeth Gilje of KPS Health Plans; 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; Dianne Robinson, Bremerton City Council member; and Claire Shearer, assistant director of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce.

They join a distinct class of women here in Kitsap County.

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.

Since 1989, the list of women who have been honored include former Bremerton Mayor Lynn Horton, State Sen. Betti Sheldon, philanthropist Joan Soriano and political activist Fran Moyer.

This is no small honor.

What makes all these women true women of achievement is that they are the ones Kitsap County is proud to have, and they, in turn, are proud to call Kitsap County home.

Women of Achievement, past and present, we salute you.

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