The Zonta Club of Marquette recognized 11 women for improving the lives of women and children in Marquette County.
After a brief list of accomplishments were read, each woman was presented with a yellow rose and certificate for their work. Yellow is the club's symbol which represents strength, unity, and support. Sally May was one of the winners for her work with the Women's Center in Marquette.
"I think it's important for women to be recognized for the things that they've done and also to highlight the issues that are still unresolved with women, and Zonta is a wonderful organization and that's really what they're all about," said May.
Zonta Rose Day is an annual event, and the winners are nominated by someone in the community.
Below is a complete list and accomplishments of the honorees from the Zonta Club of Marquette.
1. Les Bek
Les is the Fund Development Manager for the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. Her drive, energy, enthusiasm and inspiration in helping our community and the youth through the Girl Scouts are amazing. Zonta witnessed her dedication and effectiveness first hand last year in preparing for the 100th Birthday Celebration of Girl Scouts. It is evident she has dedicated herself to working with non-profit and/or community-based organizations in the form of consulting, administration, development activities, coordinating, and volunteering. The list is long but will give you an idea of where her passion lies and hence effectiveness resides: retreat centers, youth camps, child care organizations, fitness center, Michigan Dept of Community Health, Division of Family and Community Living, local health depts., Mich Council for Maternal Child Health, UP Community Outreach, Catholic Social Services, Mich Dept of Environmental Quality/UP Health Depts, Health Care Network, Office of Minority Health, UP Diabetes Outreach Network, Northern Mich Public Services Academy, US National Ski Hall of Fame, Medical Care Access Coalition and more?|?|Her talent for bringing people together and harnessing their various talents or skills for the benefit of the project, seemingly, comes naturally to her. She has received several awards for her work including Healthy Mother, Healthy Babies Coalition UP Person of the Year. Let us add to your list of awards and recognition, Les, with this flower and certificate.
2. Wendy Frye
Dr. Frye has been a passionate advocate for improving outreach to women vocationally - specifically patients with breast disease and cancer diagnosis. She has advocated for a team approach to women's care and has led the way by modeling collaboration and service above self. She is an active volunteer in the community, related to issues that will reap health benefits for years to come. Some of these are: Active in Noquemenon Trail Network providing advocacy for robust trail systems to enable healthy activities for women and families; Active in land conservation issues promoting green spaces and effective land utilization; Chair of the Women's Health Service Line Committee at Bell which was recently awarded a national accreditation for comprehensive collaborative care of the highest quality in service to patients with breast disease; Prior Board Member of "Guardian Gals", a non-profit girl's service group; Founding Member of "Just for Kids" - pairing medical students with ill children; and Immunization Clinic Volunteer. Wendy is kind, compassionate, and above all, cares deeply about those with whom and for whom she serves. She is a humble advocate for women's issues and actively shares credit across the continuum of staff with whom she works. You are in a unique position to address and improve women's health issues. Zonta thanks you for choosing to do so, so effectively and with great enthusiasm.
3. Sister Ludmilla Gramann OSF
Sister Lud (if I may) is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and has been for many years. She has served as school teacher, principal, and outreach minister. The community, as a whole, is primarily aware of her role in the Back to School Backpack Project which began in 1993. When starting this program, she was worried over how these backpacks would get filled?|..it started with a ruler and pencil. Today they are filled to capacity, to the point that the kids have a hard time carrying them. They include school supplies, hygiene products and clothes. Eligible children are those who qualify for free lunches. Sister Lud wanted to enhance the dignity and self-confidence of these children. Well over 300 backpacks are filled each year and the children are required to write a 'Thank You' note to their donors. The amazing thing about this is Sr. Lud recognized a problem and was able to communicate to and engage the community. It's this engagement that keeps the program alive and strong. Similarly with her 'Adopt-a-Family' Program which provides several hundred needy adults and children with Christmas gifts. Although you have been recognized by the Catholic Diocese of Marquette for these and other good works, Zonta wants you to know that this community of professional and business women recognize the extraordinary worth of these projects to a healthy community?|?|and without your vision they may have never been effectively initiated and continued. Please accept this rose and certificate from your sisters in Zonta!
4. Sarah Harnett
Sarah is a Certified Child Life Specialist at MGH who started a Child Life program at MGH. A Child Life Specialist works with children to promote effective coping skills through various learned activities (which might include the use of distraction during invasive procedures, for example) and facilitates family-centered care in the hospital. The Parent Advisory Council, of which she co-chairs, is a strong link to the program in helping improve the overall outcomes. In this role, she has observed how grief and bereavement will always be issues for the children and families. It wasn't long before Sarah became involved in Camp STAR, the children's grief camp. As a planner and leader, she is the main contact for volunteers and potential campers and is also secretary of the Upper Peninsula Children Bereavement Board. She attributes her involvement with Camp STAR as the most exciting thing she has ever been a part of! Sarah says she is amazed and rewarded by the children's progress and feels blessed to work with and learn from the brilliant people on the planning committee. Well, Sarah, Zonta believes that the children and families you help are also amazed and blessed by your contributions. Thank you for loving what you do and doing it so well!
5. Rachel Harris
Rachel is the Associate Director for the Center for Student Enrichment/Superior Edge Coordinator at NMU. She has been there for 17 years. Initially, in her first 11 years she coordinated the Student Leadership Fellowship program and assists with it now. For the next 6 years, she initiated and coordinated the Superior Edge Program. She's a great mentor and role model for leaders and, of course, females in leadership roles. As a result many look up to her and consult with her. Her door is always open. Rachel is also a long time Member of the President's Committee on Diversity, Coordinated the International Service Program and has led trips to India and Belize. In addition to her many responsibilities at NMU, she also serves on the Board for the Jantzen House. Her effectiveness was well evidenced by a recent article in the Horizon NMU Alumni magazine where the Superior Edge Program was chosen as a national Silver Award winner by the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education in the category of Careers, Academic Support, Service Learning and Community Service. Rachel was quoted as saying " It is truly an honor to be recognized nationally as one of the most innovative, creative, and effective student development programs in the country." This success has much to do with her wonderful personality; colleagues and students are grateful for her presence and outstanding leadership. And, Rachel, so are we. Thank you for your enduring investment in the development of young adults so they may value service, leadership and education.
6. Phyllis Loonsfoot
Phyllis has been the Director of the Women's Center/Harbor House in Marquette for the last 4 years. She speaks out for the health and well-being of women and children in our community on a regular basis. For example; an article in the Petoskey News in May 2011 exposed the offensive graffiti on Picnic Rocks and Phyllis's response got the words "Beat Your Wife' removed from the space. She took advantage of the incident by talking with the media about the issue, helping to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence in our area. Another example: Upon invitation, Phyllis Loonsfoot spoke at a future teacher's English class at NMU about domestic violence and its effects on K-12 students. She did an excellent job of helping these students (who are student teaching in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and the Dominican Republic) to understand how domestic violence might influence the lives of children and adults in every community. She provided advice on what types of literature might be beneficial to clients at the Women's Center/Harbor House in Marquette. (Aside - The English Class, through a mini grant, purchased $500 worth of books that they donated to the Women's Center/Harbor House). These are but a few examples, but her colleagues have generous praise for her leadership, management, passion, empathy and strength as an advocate for desperate women and children in our community. Your work is critical and Zonta recognizes this today with a rose and certificate as symbols of our profound appreciation.
7. Liz Mathie and Shanna Trepani
In the Fall of 2011, Liz Mathie saw there were a group of women at 'Anytime Fitness' in Harvey who wanted something more than just a typical workout. She stepped outside of the' Anytime Fitness' corporate model and created what has grown into the "906 Ninjas"; a group of women who train together and support each other. She emphasized that being 'strong instead of skinny' was the goal. This is more than just group fitness; this is something special. From 5-6 am, three days a week, two groups of 10-12 women (with busy lives) take time for themselves to get stronger, physically and mentally. They're known for wearing colorful knee socks, doing crazy things like sprint intervals with 20 lb backpacks up Mount Marquette, and supporting community events together. Liz recently relocated to Traverse City and the group wondered how or if the group would continue. Shanna Trepani stepped up to the plate and has assumed leadership of the group; bringing her own unique skills and ideas. Shanna has a very busy evening training schedule so the group is grateful that after training clients late into the evening, she's still willing to sacrifice a few hours of early morning sleep for the "906 Ninjas". This remarkable response to a unique request demonstrates their collective dedication to advancing the health status of women in the community. The "906 Ninjas" are very appreciative of Liz and Shanna's willingness to help them, specifically, lead healthier lives ! Thank you, Liz and Shanna, for being creative and enthusiastic regarding this request and being willing to extend yourself beyond usual expectations. Along with the '906 Ninja's', Zonta applauds you!
8. Sally May
Sally was one of the first Directors of the Women's Center and was for many years. She headed up programs such as putting together a Sexual Assault Team. This was an on-call team for the ER and counseling support personnel. She also helped with financial management for the displaced homemaker. There were many roles she played during these years. In addition, she was also one of the first women on the county commission and was there for about 10 years. She was the first woman Chair of the County Board. Sally was indirectly responsible for the first bike path along the lake from Chocolay into town. It happened when Rep Jacobetti got the State to re-do the road from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. She researched the proposal and requirements and discovered that the State was obliged to include a bike path. The engineers resisted but she persisted and finally got it! Sally has mentored women in politics as well as service. She helped raise the people's consciousness about women's rights and participated in a march in Washington. She received the NMU President's Award for Distinguished Citizenship on Oct 15, 1998 under Judy Bailey. She is now a new member of the Lion's Club and is currently on the Harbor House Board. She has taken on the job of Facilities Manager for 2 buildings. As a result, she helped make renovations and of course, got her family involved, as well!! Sally, it is clear that your history of so many 'firsts' and your award for distinguished citizen, establishes you as a true pioneer woman in Politics, Service, and overall general Woman Leadership. It is also clear by your past activism and current heavy involvement in the community that, as a pioneer, you recognize that the work is never done. Thank you, Sally, for being the strong woman you are and for sharing your many talents with this community. We have all benefited by your sheer presence and leadership!
9. Cindy Nyquist
Cindy is the President and Founder of UP Home Health and Hospice. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Michigan and the Senior Lead Auditor of the Community Health Accreditation Program. Cindy is a pioneer in advancing the Status of Women in our community by providing a precedent and being a role model for many women to become leaders and, specifically, public opinion leaders. She broke the glass ceiling by starting the first Hospice in Michigan, the first Home Health Agency in Michigan, and a charter member of both Michigan Hospice Organization and Michigan Home Health Association. She was president of Zonta and Marquette Rotary and a member of other community organizations. In addition, Cindy has used the company over the years to provide after school work opportunities to 'disadvantaged' girls and boys from our local High Schools. A total of 2 students at each agency office (Mqt and Ish) have the opportunity to work up to 15 hours per week during the school year and up to 20 hours per week during the summer months. The students are provided support and real-life skills while performing a variety of typical office duties and the maintenance of Hospice Memorial Gardens. They are taught to be punctual, dress appropriately, not miss scheduled hours, improve communications skills and, through this experience, gain self-value. Cindy, I know you are passionate about your life's work and we are so thankful that you are because countless families are benefiting from your leadership, vision and empathy. Zonta thanks you.
10. Sarah Peura
Sarah Is the CEO of Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL) which assists those with disabilities so that they may live independently. Sarah started out as an athlete in her MSHS High School years and a mentor for her team. She went on to the University of Michigan and was hired as the Student Athletic Manager for their Women's Volleyball Team. She traveled to all of their tournament's including the overseas events. Her team was strong and she vowed she would bring what she learned back to MSHS. After graduating from U of M, Sarah received a Masters at CMU in Recreation Therapy. She worked as a counselor at Bay Cliff Health Camp, during the summers, but after graduation she returned to Marquette and owned a business, The Magnification Place. She was also working part time for MGH as a Recreation Therapist. During this time, she was active in Kiwanis and coached at MSHS, first the Freshmen Team, then the Junior Varsity and these last 2 winning years the Varsity Team. Later she joined SAIL and became CEO. 2 testimonials, one from a student: "Sarah's impact on me as a player spilled into my academics and overall self-confidence. She was able to instill in me the ability to realize my own strength. I have set higher goals and attained them, with the aspirations and discipline she exemplified." Also from a parent; " Sarah was key in my daughter's battle with depression. Her sessions of Recreation Therapy, while being hospitalized for severe depression on the youth psychiatric floor at MGH were key in her recovery. Though discipline in the gym, Sarah helped her work through anger that was bottled-up from years of bullying." Sarah, your professional life and volunteer efforts, exemplify your desire to help people help themselves in leading stronger more independent lives. You are a key role model as a business woman, coach, and volunteer in the community. We thank you for your special talents and interests and applying them in a way that builds healthy lives.
11. Katherine Sartori
Kate is the Resident Director of Payne Hall at NMU and has her B.S. degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and MGMT and received a MS in Psychology; Training, Development and Performance Improvement from NMU in 2011. Kate has demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to helping educate and empower young women throughout her career. In 2004 she was a camp , counselor at CYO Girls Camp, leading groups of girls ages 7 - 17 throughout the summer at a single-gender, American Camp Association Accredited summer camp. From 2006 - 2009, Kate was responsible for the well-being, educational and social development of roughly 50 female undergraduate students in an individual community within a co-educational facility of approximately 300 students. Kate has been instrumental in the movement to foster equity, empowerment and acceptance of/for women at NMU. She started an undergraduate program called 'Women for Women' about 6 years ago at NMU and today 'Women for Women' is considered the most prominent, award-winning all-female organization on NMU's campus. The ' Women to Women' organization seeks to promote education, service, and leadership throughout the NMU campus and community at large. The 5 all-female houses, in tandem with the rest of the student body, work together to introduce others to issues that include, but are not limited to , health, sexuality, and civil rights. Originally founded as a grassroots organizations dedicated to the promotion of a female sisterhood, 'Women for Women' has expanded its efforts to include projects that raise awareness of societal concerns throughout the world. For her great work in mentoring young women in the residence halls, Kate was recently selected as the Staff Adviser of the Year for 2011-2012. Moreover, she was recognized by the Marquette Women's Center with their 'Harbor of Light' 2012 award for her collaboration with their program. Kate, your mentorship and leadership among young women is refreshing and critical to developing their full potential. You recognize this and we you for your work!! Thank you.
12. Julie Whitney
Now it's time to look at one of our own Zontians. We like to take this moment to highlight and thank our long-term members. Today we want to recognize Julie Whitney. Julie has been a member of Zonta for 10 years. She has served on the Board and been the corresponding secretary. In addition, she has served on the Grants Committee since she began in the club. But, her vital role has been as our Koeze Nut Coordinator. We should actually call her the Koeze Nut Queen! This is a huge undertaking because this is Zonta's biggest fundraiser. Over the years, we have raised anywhere from $8-$12,000 which translate into over $50,000 in actual sales. Ordering, pricing, coordinating all aspects, managing inventory, product distribution to the warehouse, the Mall, the Dome, Interiors by Design and getting everyone's order together and ready for pick-up requires many hours of work, leadership, organizational skills, enthusiasm and dedication to the cause. Her willingness to continue in this role year after year has made the process consistent and extremely effective and reliable. Julie, we are ever so grateful for your sustained membership and commitment to Zontian ideals, but also to your leadership in our major fundraising event which, of course, accounts for our annual generous gifts of grants and scholarships. Thank you, Julie. We love you!