WILMINGTON — Well over 200 people were on hand as seven women were honored Saturday as inductees of the 2020 class of the 21st Annual Outstanding Women of Clinton County.
The event at the Roberts Centre recognizes “women who have enriched the lives of, and had a lasting impact on, their fellow Clinton County residents.”
The Class of 2020 consists of Andrea Davis, Barbara Davis, Connie Hardie, Lorry Swindler, Marsha Wagstaff, Elizabeth Carter Weaver, and Brenda Woods.
The OWCC committee also awards four annual scholarships to one senior from each of the county’s high schools. This year’s honorees are: Eliana Tacoronte, Blanchester; Savannah Henderson, Clinton-Massie; Carlie Ellis, East Clinton; and Samantha McCord, Wilmington.
Keynote speaker was native Clinton Countian Shelby Boatman, Executive Director of the Clinton County History Center.
“When we make local women stronger, we make our community stronger. I would not be in the position of Executive Director today were it not for the individuals and community who supported me, encouraged me, and cheered me on,” Boatman told the audience. “Women throughout history would not be as memorable without this type of encouragement, too. Nationally, would we know who Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, or even Rosa Parks were, if they were not encouraged by their peers or community?”
Boatman brought up several women who achieved Clinton County milestones — from Ellen Wright, a member of the first graduating class of Wilmington College and a legendary longtime teacher and mentor, to Katheryn Hale, the county’s first female pilot.
“I have to stop and wonder, what will transpire within the next 100 years to propel women in their communities, towns, states, and country?” she said. “My response today is a call to action. May we, as a community, as Clinton County, lift up our daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, and female counterparts so they can one day become names in a history book.
“Many of the qualities historic women possess, women of today do also. And our seven Outstanding Women, without a doubt, possess these characteristics as well.”
The first luncheon to honor the initial class of Outstanding Women of Clinton County was held in 2000, recognizing the women of Clinton County who have made important economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian contributions to their communities. Each honoree in 2000 received a citation, a bouquet of flowers and a medallion on a pink ribbon — traditions which continue today.
The event is sponsored by the Wilmington News Journal, with generous support from First State Bank, Peoples Bank, Wilmington Savings Bank, and Wilmington College.