Event recognizes women’s feats

Members of Girls Inc., listen to opening remarks at the 12th Annual Women of Achievement Awards on Thursday night at the Travelodge Hotel in Bowling Green. The awards are sponsored by the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission. Photo by Clinton Lewis

Sixteen Warren County women were honored for their outstanding contributions to the community Thursday night during the 12th Annual Women of Achievement Awards at Travelodge Hotel in Bowling Green. Every one is exceptional, said Linda McCray, executive director of the Bowling Green Warren County Human Rights Commission, which sponsors the awards. Just to be nominated means you’ve been noticed in the community for doing something of value.

The winners in the following categories were chosen from a field of 61 nominees by the 2003 Women’s History Month Advisory Board. Arts Lynn Robertson presides over the Gallery at the Capital Arts Center. Her own work has received statewide recognition.Business Sharon Sullivan is vice president of Omni Meats, a multimillion dollar meat processing facility which she founded with her husband, Curtis, with little money two decades ago. Community Service Vivian Foe is a retired teacher who still substitutes, is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa education sorority and attends First Baptist Church, where she teaches Sunday School and has served as chairwoman of the 2000 Women’s Missionary Union convention. She has done mission work and taught in Russia and Brazil. Elementary Education When redistricting affected her students at Cumberland Trace Elementary School, Emily Baxter Duryea organized friend groups to welcome new students. Among her other contributions to children, after Sept. 11, 2001, Duryea organized a sale in which students sold each other used books. Proceeds were donated to he Afghan Children’s fund.Middle School Education Dr. Karen S. Powell is a former veterinarian who now works as assistant science professor at Western Kentucky University’s Community College. She is director of the Regional Science Resource Center and each year conducts teacher enrichment programs and teaches more than 700 middle-school students.High School Education Angela Townsend is a Greenwood High School English teacher who was named Kentucky Distinguished Educator in 1994. She has taught at the elementary school, junior high, high school and college levels, and has been a sponsor of many youth organizations.College Education Elizabeth Cooksey has been a teacher for more than 20 years. She is currently a professor of education at Western Kentucky University.Entrepreneurship After searching for quality, affordable child-care for her four children, Angela Coleman founded 24/7 Day Care. She and her employees care for 95 children in an environment that focuses on fundamental child-rearing principals and quality care.Posthumous The late Ora Porter was the first registered nurse in Bowling Green. She attended Tuskegee Institute and received the praises of Booker T. Washington. She nursed the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and was one of only two registered nurses who worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Bowling Green. Science and Health Donna Jo Woods opened Fitness For You after retiring from the Barren River District Health Department, where she was a Womens Health practitioner. Woods has served on the National Board for the Quality of Life Association and is active in the Kentucky Chapter she helped organize.

Woman of the Year Anne Blane Grubbs is enrichment and volunteer coordinator for Community Education. She is involved in several area organizations, including Volunteers in Action, of which she is president, and Networking Women, of which she is program chairwoman. She is president of the Bowling Green Womans Club and is on the Bowling Green Volunteer Task Force.

Woman’s First Hattie S. Page became the first black bank teller in Bowling Green. Her work with TransFinancial Bank spanned 26 years and she was named Teller of the Year there in 1979. She is now head teller at a branch bank of Citizens First.Women Reaching Higher Teresa T.J. Shockley was once a young mother who was dependent on food stamps and Section 8 housing. She opened and made a success of Timeless Treasures Antique Mall and now has two degrees from Western Kentucky University. She is director of initiatives for the Housing Authority of Bowling Green.Women of Distinction Maxine Ray is a Master of Folk Studies and substitute teacher who promotes Warren Countys black history. She worked to obtain state historical recognition for the former community of Jonesville, where much of WKU is now located. Ray served on the TrailBlazer committee for four years and has received the Ora B. Porter Community Service Award for her work with Jonesville.Youth Achievement Oshkea Offut is a 20-year-old WKU honor student who works as a role model with the children of Angora Court Learning Center.Lifetime Achievement Johnnie Sanders has worked with Community Action of Southern Kentucky for nearly 30 years. Shes been a bus driver, social service aid and a parent involvement coordinator. Shes also been Family Involvement Coordinator for Head Start Also during the Women of Achievement Awards, Kiersten Echols, an L.C. Curry Elementary School fifth-grader, was named a winner of the Women’s History Month Essay Contest, along with Sabina Muratovic of Parker-Bennett Elementary School, Oundrea Gatewood of Warren Elementary and Shanice McKissic of Henry F. Moss Middle School.Kiersten wrote about the strength and inspiration of her single mom, Dorothy Sears. She said she was inspired by the women at the Women of Achievement Awards, but most wants to be like her mother.Shes there when I need somebody, Kiersten said.The Women of Achievement Awards are held in part to inspire girls and young women to be all they can be, McCray said. Rev. Donzella Lee, pastor of Taylor Chapel A.M.E., gave the invocation during Thursdays awards ceremony and later said the event impressed her. Women don’t get recognized enough for their achievement, she said. A lot of people take for granted that women are supposed to have children and raise them, but there’s so much more to it.

Anne Grubbs was humbled when named Woman of the Year. I feel its more of a reflection on the people I work with, and my mom, she said of Margaret Blane. Grubbs was especially pleased with the naming of another winner, Oshkea Offut. I taught her in kindergarten, she said. Offut was surprised that she was honored. I didn’t think I would win, she said. Because I was just doing my job.


Staff Writer (2003, March). Event recognizes women’s feats. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.bgdailynews.com/event-recognizes-women-s-feats/article_ce35e85d-7e52-5599-abf9-1fb4c08013d7.html