Local Soroptimists honor members

It was a dark and stormy day March 16, but the dismal weather outside didn’t dampen the spirit of women’s camaraderie and support inside the Federal Way Executel hotel.

The occasion was the annual Women of Distinction Tea, sponsored by the Soroptimist Club of Federal Way. The tea traditionally honors women whose achievements have made a difference to the community and also grants financial support to others who wish to continue their education and development.

This year the Soroptimists chose two women –– Theresa Young, executive director of YMCA of Federal Way, and Joann Piquette, president of the Federal Way Coalition for the Performing Arts –– to receive the Women of Distinction Awards, based on the recipients’ character, integrity, leadership in economic, education, culture, health or human rights, and their level of volunteerism.

The Women Helping Women Award was presented to Susie Horan of Coldwell Banker All-American Real Estate. This award is given annually by Soroptimists to women who help other women achieve their potential.

A special Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Joan Gaurin, a volunteer for 21 years at the Federal Way Food Bank operated by the Multi-Service Center, where she has consistently worked three days a week.

In addition to the recognition awards, three financial awards were announced for women who are either starting advanced education programs, retraining

or were returning to the workforce. Tamara Miller, Laura Hyatt and Morgan Stanford each received a $500 grant.

Highlighting the day were women speakers from a broad spectrum of the Federal Way community who wear “different hats” as a function of their profession. They included Federal Way Police chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Mary Kate of the city’s Planning and Development Department; Debbie Goetz of the city Fire Department, Michelle Thielenhaus, a Salvation Army minister, and Army Capt. Linda Richardson.

In keeping with the best Easter bonnets and gloves theme, the program included a style show of antique hats from the mid-1800s through current times.

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