There were a lot of high notes at the Women’s Resource Center’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, but perhaps the highest was when Shauna Agnew was named Volunteer of the Year.
Program Director Christy Schaerer said that in 2013, more than 350 volunteers donated almost 3,000 hours to the organization. Based on Independent Sector’s estimate of the value of volunteer time, that’s worth more than $66,700 or the equivalent of about two full-time staff positions.
So there was no dearth of volunteers in the selection pool at the WRC.
Agnew began her involvement with the resource center through its Womenade program, which allows every woman to become a philanthropist. She is now a member of the Womenade Council, helping determine who will be recommended for emergency assistance and following up to see that situations are resolved. (Since its founding in 2002, the group has given away more than $95,000, much of it raised $25 at a time.)
After moving away for about a year – Agnew and her husband missed Durango so much they moved back – she has been the “Thursday” office volunteer, showing up every week to keep the office running. Not only is she much appreciated for her positive attitude and charm, Agnew’s cooking also wins raves.
Her name goes on a plaque in the WRC office, joining previous volunteers such as Anne Swisher, Barbara Shore, Sue Griffith, Cindy Cortese and Carol Salomon, stalwart volunteers all.
The WRC saw Margie Deane Gray, Tonya Ensign and Beth McMacken step down from its board of directors. It welcomed Reagyn Germer, Jack Morison and Megan Aus while electing Bev Wells as the new chairwoman of the board.
Executive Director Liz Mora had a lot of good news to report at the Annual Meeting, which was also a chance to review the activities of 2013. The center helped 1,382 women over the course of the year, up 7 percent over 2012.
This is a good place to note that the number of women getting help has increased every year for several years. I don’t know if that’s an indication of ever-increasing need, which I’m sure is a big part of it or just the fact that the word is out: The Women’s Resource Center is the place to go when you don’t know where to go.
Whether it was getting women connected with resources in the community, providing legal expertise for those going through divorce or custody battles in its low bono program, providing life and business coaching or offering grants or scholarships to gain education or certification (for 30 women in 2013), the WRC averaged three women a day walking through its doors.
And that doesn’t include the hundreds of eighth graders attending Girls to Women, Women to Girls (going into its 14th year) or the hundreds of fifth graders expected at the Get Your Girl Power workshops.
Research has shown that those two transition times, from elementary to middle school and middle to high school, are times when young women’s grades may begin to suffer and self-confidence weakens.
Since the WRC’s mission is to empower women to thrive economically and education has been proven to be the key component in making that happen, catching girls while they’re still in school and helping them succeed there is a great investment in the future.
One of my favorite efforts of the Women’s Resource Center is the many activities it helps organize for Women’s History Month in March, including bringing in thought-provoking films and speakers. It’s also when the organization holds its Extraordinary Women Luncheon.
That’s scheduled for March 7 at the Strater Hotel. The theme this year is Character, Courage or Commitment, and the WRC will honor one woman in each category. Nominations are due Feb. 7, and the nomination form is available at www.wrcdurango.org.
For more information, contact Director of Special Events and Membership Jamie Wienk at 247-1242.
Wondering if snow will be one of the gifts for their birthdays are Nina House, Paul Dittmer, Bonnie Fuller, Sofia Sieger, Joyce Boyer, Jack Schuba, Scattie McGrath, Jordan Stanley, Bill Marsh, Libby Heath, Nancy Conrad, Mitchell Serwe, Harold Sparks, Chloe Bourdon, Tom Stuber, Jeff Booton, Jesse Parker, Jaxon Birrenkott, Megan Downey, Karla Downey, John Dudley, Sofia Florek, Amy Bourdon, John Tait, Donna Aubrey, Niall Byers, Martie Anderson, Virginia Miller Cavanagh, Mary Orsini, Tom Orsini, Jan Goldman, Marcia Baxter, Jacky Dzuibek, Therese Michels and Jon Powell.
One of Durango’s dynamos is turning 80 on Sunday. Cheryl Jackson, who was active in numerous Durango organizations, including the American Association of University Women, the Reading Club of Durango and the Durango Club until health problems felled her a couple of years ago, got her birthday wish and is celebrating someplace warm by the ocean – Costa Rica.
But she would greatly appreciate some cards for her big day. They can be mailed to Cheryl Jackson, Four Corners Health Care Center, 2911 Junction St., Durango, CO 81301.
Gifts are difficult for Jackson because her space is limited. So a great way to honor her on her big day is to contribute to the scholarship in her name that has been established by AAUW for nontraditional female students attending Fort Lewis College.
Those donations may be made to AAUW of Durango and mailed to Treasurer Grace Deltscheff, 56 Red Cliffs Road, Durango, CO 81301. Note that it is for the Cheryl Jackson Scholarship.
I know the Reading Club of Durango made a donation when the scholarship was first created. I think it would be great if other organizations that have benefitted from Jackson’s time and talents did something similar as she begins her next decade.
Happy birthday, Cheryl!
Once I write a news story about something, it’s like turning on the information-flow tap. The tidbits just keep coming.
Which brings me to Instrument Discovery Day, which is Jan. 18. But the key date is Monday, when parents need to register for the event. Students aged kindergarten through 12th grade are welcome.
Put on by Music in the Mountains, Katzin Music and Fort Lewis College, it’s a chance to try different instruments and even get some mini-lessons. Percussion, strings (violins, violas, cellos), woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, saxophones), brass (French horns, tubas, trumpets, trombones), piano, voice and guitar will all be available.
There will be two sessions, one from 9 a.m. to noon, another from 1 to 4 p.m. Make a reservation by calling the Music in the Mountains office at 385-6820 or by visiting the website at www.musicinthemountains.com and clicking on the bright orange button.
While researching a story about Music in the Mountain Goes to School, I read a lot of research about how important music education is to academic importance. But even more than that, it’s important to leading a rich life.
This is a great place to start.
Celebrating their anniversaries in the calm between the holidays and Snowdown are Tom and Geri Mulligan and Winston and Mary Marugg.
Here’s how to reach me: email@example.com.