• Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies (AWARE) is extremely grateful for all supporters of our 23rd annual Women of Distinction dinner and silent auction. It was a privilege to join with our community in celebrating Francine Eddy Jones, Susan Macaulay, Jorden Nigro and Janine Reep. Their incomparable contributions to our community and their words of wisdom and inspiration made the evening a wonderful celebration. The Women of Distinction Gala is a wonderful opportunity to honor women who have made outstanding contributions while supporting work to end violence in our community.
AWARE’s annual fundraising event was made possible by generous gifts of expertise, energy and heart. Our thanks to emcee Kris Sell for hosting superbly, Tom Locher and Clay Good for providing opening music, Lela Stevenson for her beautiful rendition of “This Is Me”, Jesse Kiehl for his great auctioneering, Amy Carroll for designing the printed program and Jeanette St. George for producing table names. Thanks to videographers Scott and Donna Johnson, photographer Rachel Gearhart and the Rie Munoz Gallery for artwork. Thanks to Jack Beedle for gift cards and Martha’s Flowers and Gifts for arranging our centerpieces. This year, we also give a very special thank you to Kathryn Beers for exquisite sharing of courage and words.
The generous financial support of our corporate sponsors help make this event all that it is: Gold Sponsors First National Bank Alaska and Sealaska Corporation; Silver Sponsors Hecla Mining and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union; our precious gems Diamonds: Jamie and John Bursell, M.D., and Wellspring; Sapphire: Wade Bryson; and Emerald: True North Federal Credit Union. A special thank you to Alaska Airlines and Holland America Line, K3 Public Radio and the Juneau Radio Center for their very generous in-kind contributions.
Deep gratitude to our auction donors, both businesses and individuals, listed on our website awareak.org, as are photos from the evening — guaranteed to bring an instant smile to your face.
Thanks to AWARE’s dedicated Board of Directors. Officers: Mary Aparezuk and Libby Bakalar, Michele Masuda, Katie Erickson, and members Allsion Caputo, Amy Dressel, Diana Paul, Elizabeth Pisel-Davis, Pat Race and Camille Severance. The board joins me in extending deep appreciation to our event coordinator Mandi Canady, who worked tirelessly to bring the details of the event to life.
AWARE’s ability to work with survivors of domestic and sexual assault is greatly enhanced by Juneau’s community support. Proceeds further AWARE’s work with those impacted by domestic and sexual violence, and in our community-wide prevention efforts. Together we are working toward a community of respect for ourselves and others. Gunalche’esh! It would not happen without you!
Executive Director, AWARE
• Several weeks ago, I was in a very serious bike accident. I lost control on a patch of black ice and was sent flying into the road. I broke my left kneecap, left shoulder and a rib on my right side. My head would have been cracked as well if I wasn’t wearing my helmet. The helmet was dented but not my head.
I was unable to stand on my own. Drivers in the cars behind and in front of me came to my aid and helped me stand and get out of the roadway. I was dazed by the impact, and I don’t remember who they were. An El Sombrero waitress pulled up and took me to the clinic. After stopping my bleeding, the clinic sent me to the Bartlett Regional Hospital’s emergency room. While waiting in the ER, I was wondering how I was going to deal with my predicament. I posted on my Facebook page moments before I was taken in for X-rays.
When I went back to the exam room after the X-rays, my inbox was stuffed with countless messages from friends near and far offering assistance. One friend was already in the waiting room to give me a ride back to my house and many more were offering to do the same. I felt like George Bailey in the climactic scene of “It’s A Wonderful Life” with the swarm of friends coming to help.
I can’t list all the names of all the people who have helped me in my hours and days of need. The letter would be as long as a Russian novel if I did. If I list one name, then I would have to list hundreds more.
To all of you who helped — from the people who got me to my feet and off the road moments after the crash, the ER medical staff and many more — thank you very much.