2017 “Woman of Distinction” Award Winners!


Please come and help Soroptimist honor DeLona Campos Davis, Lucy Gorman and Kym Zanmiller, this year’s winners of the Soroptimist International of Hood River’s Women of Distinction Award. These three energetic and dedicated local women will be introduced by their nominators at a luncheon in their honor Wednesday, May 17, 11:30- 1:00 pm, in the Gorge Room of the Best Western Hood River Inn. Tickets for the luncheon are $24 and available at Waucoma Bookstore, through Eventbrite.com or by calling Jean Harmon, 541-386-3748. Deadline for ticket purchase is Saturday, May 13. 

Each year since 1975, Soroptimist Hood River has asked community members and organizations to honor women in their midst whose work in a professional or volunteer capacity has made a significant difference in the quality of our community. 

In nominating DeLona Campos Davis, her friend and colleague Karen Murphy said, “Over the past 25 years, DeLona has gifted herself to our community through her work of empowering children, youth and families, and contributing to a more connected equitable, peace-infused community.” Among her many contributions, ten years ago, DeLona co-founded Columbia Gorge Peace Village and served as camp director and now executive director of this week-long summer inter-faith, multicultural day camp where kids, ages 6-13, from ten Gorge communities, learn the messages and practice the non-violence and peacemaking from various world traditions. For the last three years, she also has coached Hood River Valley High School’s speech & debate team that recently won a regional competition. Two members of the team will be representing Oregon at the national speech and debate conference in Washington, DC.  

Artist and designer Lucy Gorman, owner of Lucy’s Informal Flowers, has been giving her considerable energy and talent to the Hood River community for over 25 years. According to her nominators, Ann Frodel and Cathy Carter, Lucy has created costumes for CAST plays, helped start a co-op pre-school, volunteered as an art teacher and artist-in-residence at May St. and Hood River Middle Schools, and mentors young women through the HRVHS fashion club as interns and employees in her shop. 


Kym Zanmiller’s two page resume of community volunteer activities includes over ten years coordinating the over 100 volunteers needed at the Hood River County Christmas Project, writing and receiving over 20 grants for First Book of Hood River County, SMART reading program volunteer coordinator, founder of the After School Science Program, Hood River City Planning Commission member and volunteer coordinator for the Children’s Park. According to her nominator, Jacquie Brown-Barone, “What amazes me about Kym is her positive energy and enthusiastic smile. She takes this energy and has the magic to encourage others to volunteer on all kinds of projects.” 

As each nominator pointed out, “She has made an incredible difference on the quality of life in our community.” Those who have been touched by the energy of DeLona, Lucy and Kym, please honor them with your presence at the May 17 awards event.  

Soroptimist of Hood River, part of Soroptimist International, is a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. To learn more about Soroptimist International, go to www.soroptimist.org. To learn more about Soroptimist International of Hood River, “like” Soroptimist Hood River on Facebook. 

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Looking for Women of Distinction!






Is there a woman in your business, civic or personal life who has made a distinctive difference in the quality of life in Hood River county or in the lives of local women and girls?

Soroptimist International of Hood River is asking individuals, businesses and organizations to help honor a woman in their midst whose professional or volunteer work qualifies her as a Soroptimist ‘Woman of Distinction.’ Nominations will be accepted until Thursday, April 20, with an awards luncheon scheduled for Wednesday, May 17.

“Our community is full of strong, capable women what have shaped our county’s culture since its beginning,” said committee member Jean Harmon. “Soroptimist has been recognizing and celebrating distinctive women in our community for over 40 years. We know we will never run out of worthy nominees. because our larger community benefits from the work of these outstanding citizens, we ask everyone’s help in making sure they are recognized.”

Nomination forms, guidelines and a list of previous winners are available at Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, via download from this website (see end of post), or by calling Barbara Young at 541-490-1996. Nominations need to include all activities that show the nominee’s dedication, effectiveness and vision. Letters of support are helpful and should be included. Nomination deadline is Thursday, April 20.

Winner and their nominators will be notified in late April and names announced in the Hood River News, on Soroptimist’s social media sites and on local radio stations. The Women of Distinction luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17 from 11:30am to 1pm at the Gorge Room in the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn. Tickets are $22 each and will be available at Waucoma Bookstore and online at EventBrite in early May, or by calling Jean Harman at 541-207-4226.



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2017 Live Your Dream Award Recipients

Yesterday was an awesome day for yours truly (Denise Rehse Watson, SIHR VP, writing…) – not only was it International Women’s Day (March 8), not only did I have several celebrations around town to participate in, but I got the chance to help make a difference in the lives of three wonderful young women pursuing their dream! Mooreen Morris, our club Treasurer, drove me and SIHR member Barbara Barnett Young to the Columbia Gorge Commmunity College campus in The Dalles yesterday afternoon to meet the three women who had won SIHR’s Live Your Dream Awards for 2017 and deliver their awards (read: checks!) to them. This year’s recipients are Amanda Wolf, Seana Sherwood and Bridget Poirier. Ms. Wolf is studying accounting, while both Ms. Sherwood and Ms. Poirier are pursing medical assisting studies.

We all chatted briefly as various bits of paperwork were settled, then it was time for a group photo. Since it WAS International Women’s Day and I WAS wearing my favorite purple pussyhat, I asked everyone to make the “sign of the pussycat” as I snapped one last photo – and voila, the photo you see accompanying this post, lol!

I left the campus that day with high hopes for these courageous women pursuing their dream of improving their lives and the lives of their children. THIS is why I am a Soroptimist – the many opportunities to effect change for the good in the lives of other women. Care to join us?

left to right: Mooreen Morris, Amanda Wolf, Seana Sherwood, Bridget Poirier, Barbara Barnett Young (photo by Denise Rehse Watson)

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