The envelopes, please.
Honorees of this year's "Women of Excellence" awards are Jayne Whitlow for professional achievement and Jill Fox for young woman of distinction.
Each will receive $500 and be recognized at Altrusa International Inc. of Parkersburg's awards reception March 29 at the Parkersburg Art Center. The Altrusa program recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the community through their business or volunteer achievements.
Whitlow has selected the Parkersburg South High School Theater Department to receive her award money. She is the theater teacher at South.
The $500 will be combined with proceeds from the school's popular production of "Beauty and the Beast" last November to install a new sound system in the Parkersburg South High School auditorium.
"It will be a lasting gift to the school," said Whitlow. "We have an active theater department at South."
Whitlow of Vienna said she was pleased, surprised and humbled by her selection for the award.
Those nominating Whitlow noted, in part, "she has guided South's drama program to excellence and, along the way, nurtured her students by both developing their individual talents on stage and counseling them on life."
Fox's $500 award will be used to continue her education at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. She is pursuing a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.
"I feel very privileged to win the award," Fox told me Thursday. "It is such an honor."
Fox of Parkersburg has dedicated her life to helping people with disabilities. She said she wants to see people with disabilities treated with the respect and inclusion into society they deserve.
Fox and her husband, Christopher, are the parents of three children who have disabilities. Through her family situation, Fox said she learned about the importance of issues facing people with disabilities and wanted to advocate for them.
After a break of several years from college classes, Fox resumed her studies at WVU-P last semester and was named to the President's List. Fox is a member of the The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley Board of Directors and a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern West Virginia.
"I enjoy volunteering," Fox said.
The letter of nomination for Fox states: "Her dream would be a world that is respectful of everyone-and she has enrolled in college to pursue a degree so that she can continue with that mission not only as a volunteer, but as a professional."
The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and networking time, said Michelle Yanok, chairwoman of the "Women of Excellence" program. The presentation ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from Altrusa members, at the Parkersburg Art Center or by contacting Kitty Brown at 304-422-6786. Proceeds will be used to give college scholarships to women through the Altrusa Foundation.
The "Women of Excellence" awards program has evolved from the former W.E.A.L.T.H. (Women of Excellence And Leadership Timely Honored) Banquet, started in 1988 by Altrusa and the YWCA of Parkersburg. Past honorees in various categories read like a Who's Who of outstanding women in the Parkersburg area.
In 2006, the awards program changed from W.E.A.L.T.H. to W.O.E. and replaced a banquet with a reception.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org