I had the pleasure this weekend of attending and helping out with two events honoring women.
The first was last Friday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Each year, the west and east metro honor the best and brightest young women athletes who are graduating high school seniors.
I haven't had the pleasure of attending the east metro Athena Awards, but I have attended several of the west metro events as an emcee.
Let me tell you, these are amazing young women. Yes, as a society, I think we spend way too much time extolling the accomplishments of athletes and not enough time recognizing academic achievement, not to mention community involvement.
That's why I really like the Athena Awards. Yes, these young women have lettered in multiple sports. They are team captains, and they often have won scholarships to colleges and universities throughout the country.
To a person, though, they are also young women who carry very high GPA's. They volunteer. They are involved in many school groups from debate to choir to drama.
Any employer should hire them on the spot just for their organizational skills. I wonder how they handle it all.
They are the real deal.
It makes me feel good to be there to recognize them, and it makes me have great hope for our future. These are remarkable young women, and I have listed the west metro winners at the bottom of this blog.
My Sunday morning, Mother's Day, was spent with more remarkable women. Grandmothers. Mothers. Daughters, granddaughters, and the men and boys who are equally wonderful for being there at this year's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
KARE was lucky enough to start sponsoring this event about five years ago.
Organizers moved it to the Mall of America, and it remains one of the premier fundraising events in the country in the race to cure breast cancer.
Yes, you see people with signs honoring those who are no longer there to fight. You see 20, 30, 40 year survivors. You see pure love everywhere you look. It takes my breath away.
I had a great weekend, thanks to some remarkable women and the people who support them.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make both events happen, and thank you for letting me be a part of it all.
Susan G. Komen
Here are the 2009 Athena winners in the west metro:
Academy of Holy Angels, Kelsey Romatoski. Andover, Alex Nelson. Anoka, Bri Dorale.
Benilde-St. Margaret's, Megan Forcier. Blaine, Lauren Zrust. Blake, Margaret Phelps Chute. Bloomington-Jefferson, Lauren Anne Somers. Bloomington-Kennedy, Lisa Braun. Breck, Madison Styrbicki. Burnsville, Macey Kent.
Champlin, Alana Janell Eason. Chaska, Lauren Rothschiller. Columbia Heights, Hanna Bornetun. Concordia Academy, Haley Coy. Coon Rapids, Kadie Ann Mullerleile.
De Lasalle, Heidi Fahning.
Eden Prairie, Casey Opitz. Edina, Meredith Finsand. Elk River, Melissa Killpatrick.
Fridley, Erin Green.
Hopkins, Becky Kortum. Maple Grove, Ali Nelson.
Minneapolis-Edison, Mariah Ann Marie Lenon. Minneapolis-North, Kristell Caballero-Saucedo. Minneapolis-Patrick Henry, Sara Merrill. Minneapolis-Roosevelt, Brittany Alparicio. Minneapolis-South, Tayler Mercedes Hill. Minneapolis-Southwest, Libby Ellis. Minneapolis-Washburn, Quinn Mathewson.
Minnehaha Academy, Emily Engdahl. Minnetonka, Emily Meese. Mound-Westonka, Danni Schneider.
Orono, Erin Garfield. Osseo, Chiamaka Shantel Okonkwo.
Park Center, Amy VanHulzen. Prior Lake, Paige Kuplic. Providence Academy, Samantha Zopfi.
Richfield, Pamela Diane January. Robbinsdale-Amstrong, Elizabeth Anne Wilson. Robbinsdale-Cooper, Cortney Imgrund. Rogers, Jennifer Dowd.
Shakopee, Nicole Anderson. Spring Lake Park, Laura Renee Randall. St. Anthony Village, Nicole M. Binder. St. Francis, Kelly Olson. St. Louis Park, Ellen Dahlgren Sackrison.
Totino Grace, Lizzi Naumann.
Watertown-Mayer, Megan Geyen. Wayzata, Emily Stalpes.
Zimmerman, Janine Atkinson.
(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)