The work of the many Juneau women who make local life tick sometimes goes unnoticed.
More than 20 years ago, AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies) began publicly celebrating these women with their Women of Distinction Awards. This year marks the the 23rd annual ceremony, and AWARE needs the help of locals to put a spotlight on significant contributions from local women.
Nominations for this year’s awards are now open, AWARE announced Friday. If you have been inspired by a woman in your personal or professional life, its inviting you to nominate them for an award by visiting www.awareak.org and clicking the “Nomination Form” button on the homepage.
Last year’s winners were Andrea Cesar, Sioux Douglas, Kris Sell and Rena Sims. Marie Darlin, Justine Muench, Missouri Smyth and Kristi West were all honored in 2015, while Laraine Derr, Ernestine Hayes, Betty Kaplor and Shari Paul received awards in 2015.
The award has a few objectives: to celebrate distinctive women in Juneau, to recognize the benefit of paid or volunteer work done by local women, to honor unsung heroes, as well as those with publicly recognized achievement, to support and encourage community members to recognize the contributions women make to Juneau and to raise funds to support AWARE’s work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Women of Distinction are selected based on a few criteria. Winning candidates will have demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life for women and children in Juneau, show integrity, dedication, motivation and leadership and a willingness to share their skills and knowledge. Honorees are role models who represent and support diverse groups within Juneau.
Nominees do not have to be in the field of domestic violence or sexual assault. A few questions can be answered on nomination forms, which can be up to four pages. Three letters of support can be also be included, but those are optional. Typed nomination forms are appreciated. It’s encouraged that people cite examples of how nominees meet the awards criteria.
The AWARE Board of Directors will select four honorees for the 23rd annual AWARE Women of Distinction event, to be held at Centennial Hall on March 9, 2019.