Women of Distinction 5.24.1996

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Women of Distinction 5.24.1996 - YWCA honors six for their achievements : - ; s...
YWCA honors six for their achievements : - ; s ii ' ! I - I A f 1 . J !r 1 iJ J; ; i-S 'r- if, , ilr ; 1 L I1' I I - x , - ' rt' ' ; J.. - ti -, . , The PantagraphHEATHER BROWNFIELD ; Jane Compagna, left, one of the nominees for the seventh annual YWCA of McLean County Women of Distinction Awards, looked over the photo display of fellow nominees with Diane Stempinski at Thursday's awards dinner at the ISU Bone Student Center Ballroom. The dinner and program were sponsored by the YWCA of McLean County Foundation. Speaker enjoys her view of history By VICTORIA PIERCE Pantagraph staff The community spirit shined in McLean County Thursday night as hundreds honored this year's Women of Distinction nominees and winners. It's that spirit that sets this country apart from all others, said keynote speaker Jill Dougherty, CNN White House correspondent. " Seeing people volunteering simply because it's the good thing to do for the community makes her proud to be an American, said Dougherty, who has traveled worldwide covering the president and first lady. Dougherty said many of her colleagues in the White House press corps realize the unique privilege they have been given. "It really is a bird's eye view on history," she said, regaling the crowd at the Illinois State University Bone Student Center Ballroom with observations and anecdotes from her travels. Dougherty noted that when she first began working at CNN's Washington, D.C., bureau in 1991, she had to work Christmas Day. Dec. 25, 1991, also happened to be the official end of the Soviet Union, she noted. That sense of history in the making hit her as she was standing on the front lawn of the White House preparing a "live shot" "I was standing on the front lawn of the White House thinking this is absolutely amazing. ... All of a sudden, it was the end," said Dougherty, who studied Russian and worked in Moscow as a freelance correspondent. Dougherty said she also felt that "sweep of history" while covering President Clinton's visit to France for the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. "It's those things that make me very grateful that I have a chance to be there," she said. But the stories and routines of a White House correspondent are not always so awe inspiring. More often, it's a matter of yelling out a question to the president as he jogs past or filming a setup photo opportunity on the campaign trail. "There is a method to the madness," Dougherty said, acknowledging the press corps reputation as a pack of hyenas. It's becoming more and more difficult to find a human moment to capture of the president or first lady, she said. Every moment seems to be orchestrated and often is filmed by staff for campaign commercials, i But occasionally the setup moment gives way to something humorous, interesting or odd. Not long ago, the president and vice president were ;visiting a California school to promote the Internet. The itwo top men in the country actually got in and installed xable for the project, an image that somehow just 'seemed strange, Dougherty said. IliiiMWlJi iu Jl U im.ii.iii U ' l 'omen ' 1 - J tjr , , Marita Brake are about to be re- Keynote speaker Jill Dougherty talked about her career as CNN White House correspondent. And political junkies will remember President Bush's "debate" with the chicken man during his campaign train trip before the 1992 election. At each stop, the Clinton campaign had managed to get in a man dressed in a chicken outfit to promote the message that Bush was too chicken to debate Clinton. The temptation proved too much for Bush, who against the advice of his staffers, took on the chicken man in an exchange. "There are these moments when you think, 'Is this real? Am I really seeing a human dressed as a chicken debating the president?' Yes." Dougherty said. Although Dougherty's career has taken her to the White House and beyond, like many in the audience she seemed impressed by the women honored at the banquet. While a journalist's pace is a quick one, it's no match for those set by 1996 Women of Distinction, she said. Six women were honored Thursday night at the seventh annual YWCA of McLean County Women of Distinction Awards Program at the Illinois State University Bone Student Center. The women were recognized for their professional and personal achievements in six specific categories. Winners were: Marita Brake, arts and entertainment; Julie Dobski, business; Carol Thornton, education; Gale Keeran, professions; Charla Cullen, social service; and Harriet O'Daffer, volunteer service. Twenty-eight women were nominated for the distinction. A panel of five judges reviewed the nominations and selected one woman for each category. Some of the accomplishments and contributions of the 1996 Women of Distinction are: Marita Brake Brake, 2006 Castle Ave., Blooming-ton, has had a strong presence in many tirst time" events, such as First Night Blooming-ton-Normal, Sister Cities events, Canterbury Tales Celebration, and State Farm's Sounds of Christmas Program. She also is an enter-tainersong-writer. Her first compact disc and songbook, "Gypsy Moon leased. She performed at Carnegie Hall and signed a performance agreement with Community Concerts Inc., New York, to perform in concert halls across the country in 1996-97. She also is completing a publication, "Under a Prairie Moon," that will include 51 photographs of Central Illinois and 21 of her poems. She earned a bachelor's degree in theater in 1973 from ISU and has given private voice and guitar lessons in the Twin Cities; taught adult education voice, dulcimer and guitar classes; conducted songwrit-ing workshops; and performed professionally. She is co-chairwoman for Canterbury Committee; a member of the Sister Cities board; and a member of the 10th Anniversary Celebration Committee for Sister Cities. She also is talent consultant for First Night 1997 and serves on the First Night board. Julie L. Dobski Dobski, 1903 Willowbridge Court, Normal, is co-owner of eight McDon ald's restaurants in the Blooming-ton-Normal area. In 1987, while living in Farmington, Mo., she won the highest award the McDonald's Corp. offers, the Ronald McDonald Award, recognizing a person who gives 110 percent back to their community through their business, volunteer work and sponsorship opportunities. She and her husband, Bob, have been recognized as the Business Partner of the Year by Blooming-ton-Normal Jaycees and the Children's Foundation. She is a strong 7 ... Carol Thornton Julie Dobski supporter of the Bloomington High and Bloomington Junior High School Work Experience Career Exploration Program. She also has been recognized for her work with McLean County Compact and for her contributions to ISU's Redbird education and scholarship fund. Her most recent community involvement includes serving on committees for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Child Care Resource and Referral Network, Heartland Community College, First Night, The Children's Foundation, Illinois Wesleyan University and ISU. Carol Thornton Thornton, 300 Orlando Ave., Normal, has been a distinguished university professor in ISU's math depart ment since 1992. She received her doctorate from Indiana University. She is credited with finding funding for the first Expanding Your Horizons Conference for 10th-grade girls in McLean County and for securing grants to pro vide opportunities for Illinois teachers to enhance their teaching skills. She is co-directing the PUMP Algebra Project in Peoria, working with middle school teachers to try to increase the number of students, particularly minorities, who remain in the algebra pipeline. She is author or co-author of 90 , books, 70 articles and 22 book chapters, and produces 19 edited books and several educational kits for students or their teachers in regular and special education classrooms. She has been a volunteer for Girl Scouts for 12 years, Bloomington-Normal Sister City liaison with Asahikawa, Japan, and a volunteer at the Red Cross, for junior and advanced junior Zookeepers, for Habitat for Humanity, for Walk for Mankind, and for Meals on Wheels. Gale Keeran Keeran, 1513 W. Graham St., Bloomington, is director of community relations at St. Joseph Medical Center. She became St Joseph's first Women's Center director seven years ago and created a continuum of services entirely focused on the health needs of women and their families. She opened the first breast prosthesis service in McLean County for mastectomy patients , fialo women s re- ualc source library. Keeran Under Keeran's direction, the Center for Healthy Lifestyles has launched a new program of public education for breast cancer prevention, including free mammograms for low-income women. She earned a bachelor's degree and teacher's certificate from IWU. She is a member of Chestnut Health Systems board, Cornbelt Health Educations, McLean County Pre-Natal Clinic, McLean County Health Department's advisory board and task force, the Girl Scouts advisory board, Heartland Head Start, United Way Community As- A r ' ' ' ' " i ttt- i i i Charla Cullen sessment of Needs Committee, United Way Community Advocacy Network and American Heart Association Heart Walk co-chairwoman. Charla Cullen Cullen, 1014 Broadway Ave., Normal, has been executive director of Western Avenue Community Center since 1982. She is the founder and "dean" of collaborative programming for social services on the west side and is an advocate of diversity. She works alongside the Bloomington Police Department in an effort to reduce gang recruitment and violence. She started Western Avenue Community Center's Ladies Auxiliary, worked to open a free Children's Clinic, developed and implemented a strategic plan for the center, designed a 10-week summer day camp for at-risk teen-agers and opened a food pantry at the center. She is a graduate of ISU and received a certificate in business administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a strategic planning consultant and is a member of Westminster Village Foundation Board and vice president of the United Way executive council. Harriet G. O'Daffer O'Daffer, R.R. 2, Lake Bloomington, has contributed thousands of volunteer hours to many local organizations and is co-chairwoman of the designer committee for the Baby Fold's Festival of Trees fund-raiser. She has been active on The Baby Fold board of trustees since 1986 serving in numerous capacities including committee chairwoman, secretary, vice president and president She retired in September 1995 but re mains involved. She also is a board member of the Illinois Shakespeare Society and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra board and has served in several capacities with the First United' M o I h n H i c t church, Nor- Harriet mal. She is co- O'Daffer president of the Lake Bloomington Association, serves on the Friends of Mennonite College of Nursing Steering Committee, and is a member of the Friends of the ARTs at ISU; the Normal History Club; Chapter CI, PEO; and Bloomington Symphony Guild. She served as president of the Unit 5 Board of Education from 1983-85. She also has volunteered andor been a member of numerous organizations including the League of Women Voters, Normal History Club, Habitat for Humanity, Mobile Meals, Normal Theater Gala Committee and Alliance for Intoxicated Motorists. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education from ISU and was a fourth-grade teacher at Franklin School, Bloomington. She is a life member of the PTA and received a United Way Volunteer of the Year Award for The Baby Fold in 1995. ; , ili r ,z ,n

Clipped from
  1. The Pantagraph,
  2. 24 May 1996, Fri,
  3. Page 5

mike170 Member Photo
  • Women of Distinction 5.24.1996

    mike170 – 02 Feb 2017

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