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Women of Wisdom 2004

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Women of Wisdom 2004

Spend a little time volunteering in any of the organizations this area has in abundance and you'll soon realize an unmistakable fact—our communities are full of phenomenal women. Men play a role as well, but for the most part it's the ladies who are organizing to provide a variety of projects for the betterment of the community—be it the arts, the needs of children, helping those less fortunate in terms of money or health, supporting literacy programs, beautifying, protecting, conserving the area, maintaining our history—the list is as varied as the types of women who make it all happen.

Last week in Sandpoint, as the rain poured down, Community Hall was packed to overflowing in a celebration to honor the achievements of those whose time, talent, energy and love are given to make this the place well all want to live in. Six of those in the room were to receive the honor of being named "Women of Wisdom" for the year 2004. Most of those who remained have either already been nominated as Women of Wisdom in years before, or will likely be on the list of those nominated for years to come.

First Lady Patricia Kempthorne was the keynote speaker for this year's event which honored Betty Ann Diehl, Joyce Fenton, Elisabeth O'Meara, Virginia Ross, Marian Ruyle and, in a posthumous honor, Dora Pennington. Their gifts have been spent in our communities in an enormous variety of volunteer programs and efforts, including church programs, the Civic Club, PTAs, 4-H, the Historical Society, the Panida Theater, Pend Oreille Arts Council, the Festival at Sandpoint, Kinderhaven, the Eastern Star, the Chamber of Commerce, Bonner General Hospital, the Schweitzer Ski Racing team, Panhandle Animal Shelter, Girl Scouts, hospice, the Clark Fork Valley Quilters and more. Because a woman must be age 65 or over in order to nominated, the honorees represent a lifetime of service and support to our local communities, and are an inspiration to those who follow in their footsteps.

Marsha Ogilvie, who founded Women Honoring Women, the organization responsible for the Women of Wisdom recognition program back in 1999, said at the ceremony that, "Today, collectively we are shining a light onto the lives of these remarkable women. For one brief moment we will show them how much they are loved, how much they are appreciated, and how much they are treasured."

Women of Wisdom 2004, pictured from left to right: Esther Inselman, Betty Ann Diehl, Marian Ruyle, Joanne Kelly, Joyce Fenton, Virginia Ross and Elisabeth O'Meara. Esther Inselman and Joanne Kelly are standing in for their mother, Dora Pennington, who was honored posthumously.

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Landon Otis

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Patricia Kempthorne, Women of Wisdom, Betty Ann Diehl, Joyce Fenton, Virginia Ross, Marian Ruyle, Dora Pennington, Marsha Ogilvie, Esther Inselman, Joanne Kelly, ElisabethO'Meara

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