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'Women of Distinction' honored

by MAUREEN DOLAN
Staff Writer | November 17, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - They have changed people's lives.

Eight area women will be honored for their work in the community Friday by Soroptimist International of Coeur d'Alene. The organization is holding its 28th annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon at Cedars Floating Restaurant, 1514 S. Marina Drive.

"I am hugely flattered and humbled," said Anne Hagman, business development officer at STCU, and the recipient of this year's Business & Professional award from the Soroptimists. "Pam Houser nominated me, and for years she has been one of my heroes and mentors, so for her to nominate me means so much."

Houser is the president of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Mikki Stevens, the founder of the Red Hot Mamas, will receive this year's Arts & Culture award. The Mamas, a group of zany dancing, singing, community-serving women, made their merry mark in North Idaho and beyond before disbanding more than a year ago.

"She's definitely inspirational to a lot of women," said Julia Parmann, former Red Hot Mama member. "She brought women of all ages, cultural diversities and backgrounds together and made us a group. All of us became like sisters."

Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of those in their communities and throughout the world.

Post Falls Police Chief Scott Haug said his agency is proud of Bridget Eismann, who is receiving the Soroptimist's Public Service award this year.

Eismann is a crime victim advocate with O.A.S.I.S. (Officer and Advocates Sharing Intervention Services.) The organization is the victims' services unit of the Post Falls Police Department.

"She's very deserving," Haug said. "She works really hard at trying to make a difference in peoples' lives."

Other honorees being recognized by the Soroptimists this year include:

• Community Service - Jill Jurvelin, Children's Village

• Education - Janice Fletcher, University of Idaho

• Health - Peggy Cuvala, Panhandle Health

• Senior - Maryann "Tiny" Couch, Lake City Senior Center

• Community Activist - Cathleen O'Conner, Kootenai Environmental Alliance

Local businesses sponsor the awards for each category, other community members donate to underwrite the event and a small fee is charged for the lunch.

Proceeds go to Soroptimist programs including the Soroptimist's Children's Counseling Center. The center was created in partnership with the Women's Center to help stop the cycle of domestic violence.

The public is invited to attend the luncheon, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Cedars Floating Restaurant, 1514 S. Marina Drive. Tickets are $25.

Information: 777-7000

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