Women’s Month needs local honorees
March is Women’s Month. Artists, volunteers, moms, educators, pioneers, government workers, religious women and those who bring vision to women’s activities are given national recognition.
In art, there have been some outstanding females who were movers and shakers in the U.S. One of the most notable was Georgia O’Keeffe, a Wisconsinite, who made history in the early 20th century by giving women the same respect as men. The number of female directors of the Fine Arts Center proves her impact.
We have no women officially included under the eight headings, but if we did, they’d be in the National 2014 Women of Character, Courage and Commitment list:
Kathy Steiner would be my nominee for Making Women’s Lives Visible. As managing editor of The Jamestown Sun, she focuses on local personalities, making James- town’s women’s activities more visible.
Clarice Liechty and Donna Badal would be nominees for Builder of Communities and Institutions. Liechty was mayor and as builder/Realtor she continues to speak out for the advancement of the city. Badal volunteers her free time as a therapy volunteer ... that is when she isn’t beside her husband, Bob Badal, University of Jamestown president.
Category three is “Educators and Visionaries.” University of Jamestown’s Caroline Hagen, Dina Laskowski and Tena Lawrence would be nominees for that list. Each performs outstandingly as educator and visionary.
When it comes to the fourth category, Mothers and Mentors, many fit. But I’d choose my late mother as a nominee. With a second-grade education, she became “mother” to two younger sisters (one a newborn). She survived, thrived and instilled a matchless religious and educational base for her own children.
Amy Reidburn Walker is my nominee for Volunteers, Aid Workers and Diplomats. She is a full-time employee at the North Dakota State Hospital, mother of two, wife, sister, daughter and friend. She has helped chair Stutsman County cancer drives while helping her own mother and sister through cancer treatments and completing her master’s degree in psychology.
Mary Faith Young is my nominee for Women Pioneers/Trail Blazers. How I wish I knew as much as she’s forgotten, and she’s forgotten very little. She was the 1988 recipient of the North Dakota State Historical Society’s award for Individual Excellence in Local History. There’s no one like her.
In the Government Workers category, I would nominate James-town/Stutsman Development Corp. CEO Connie Ova and Jamestown’s City Hall’s Peggy Koenig. Both fill valuable roles in public relations for the city and its residents.
And last, the category is Women in Religion. Again, several women fit that category: Sue Anderson, Cindy Ault, Pam Pranke and Sister Michaeleen Jantzen. They support those in need through religion and education.
Here’s tipping the cap to the wonder women of Jamestown who help behind the scenes, as moms, in front of and behind a desk, and who volunteer their time and talents to help make life better for us all.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.