March 20, 2024

YWCA Spokane’s 2024 Women of Achievement Awards Event Recap

Women of Achievement Awards 2024

Honorees | 2024 Keynote Speaker | Event Sponsorship | Nominations for 2025

Margaret Mitchell during her keynote address.

Update April 2024:  This year, we set a goal to raise $100,000 in the room the day of Women of Achievement – Something we’d never done before. At the end of the event, after we finished our final count, we were sitting at around $90,000 raised. We are very excited to share that a generous donor who attended that day made a gift afterward that closed the gap and helped us reach our $100,000 goal for survivors!

It truly shows that, as a village, we can accomplish anything. The collective efforts of our community are capable of achieving any ambitious goal – Our next one is a future without violence and where all women and girls, especially women and girls of color, know their strength and worth.

The 2024 Women of Achievement Awards were a vibrant celebration of invaluable women in our community! In addition to honoring these outstanding women, the awards luncheon served as YWCA Spokane’s largest fundraiser of the year. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that with the incredible support from attendees, over $88,000 was raised towards our $100,000 goal on the day of, bringing the event’s net total to over $245,000 raised for YWCA Spokane’s vital programs and services. A record-breaking number! Each and every attendee and sponsor helped ensure that women, children, and survivors of domestic violence have a safe place to find support.

The event featured a special message from the YWCA’s program staff, who work with clients and survivors every single day. The change that they witness in each survivor’s journey is possible because of the incredible support from sponsors, donors, and attendees at events like Women of Achievement.

Hear From YWCA Program Staff

At the Luncheon, guests were greeted and entertained by stiltwalkers from Vertical Elements, while they mingled and enjoyed a photo booth from Electric Photoland. We were also joined by Spokane artist Christina Deubel, who painted live at the event! The beautiful piece of artwork she created at Women of Achievement will be auctioned off at An Evening in Tuscany on July 11th, 2024.

Christina Deubel works on her live painting.

The atmosphere was electric as guests were entertained by JaNese Howard, who gave a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, accompanied by a presentation of the flags by Girl Scouts from Troop 4340, and followed by a performance from the North Central High School Step Team.

One of the highlights of the event was the keynote address delivered by Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA. With her powerful words and unwavering passion, Margaret Mitchell reaffirmed our commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women as a community and inspired all in attendance to continue the fight for justice and equity.

Listen to Margaret Mitchell’s Speech

Stiltwalkers from Vertical Elements enjoying the fun of the event.

We also honored eight remarkable women who have made significant contributions to their communities.

Melody Chang Heaton – Arts and Culture Award
Colene Rubertt – Business and Industry Award
Kristine Hoover – Carl Maxey Racial and Social Justice Award
Samantha Clark – Community Enhancement Award
Stephaine Courtney – Education Award
Vanessa Waldref – Government and Public Service Award
Denise Smart – Science, Technology, and Environment Award
Sindhu Surapaneni – Young Woman of Achievement Award

Each honoree showcased their limitless potential, and their stories continue to serve as a testament to the strength, resilience, and determination of women everywhere.

Watch each Honoree’s Interview

As the day drew to a close, Spokane’s Poet Laureate, Mery Smith, shared a poem she crafted specifically for the Women of Achievement Awards, leaving our hearts full of inspiration and a renewed sense of purpose. 

Thank you to all who attended, supported, and contributed to this year’s event. Together, we are shaping a world where every woman has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.  A special thank you to our event sponsors, who helped create the magic of this event and ensure that funds raised go directly to supporting survivors!

Here’s to the remarkable women of achievement and the bright future ahead!

View the full program

Nominations for 2025 are now open!

If you left feeling inspired, thinking of a woman in your life who has made a remarkable difference for her community with her leadership, service, and skill, please consider nominating her for next year’s awards! The nomination form is now available.

Nominate Someone for 2025

Help Reach the $100,000 Goal for Survivors

There is still time to help reach the $100,000 goal to provide essential support services to women, children, and survivors of domestic violence in Spokane. Help bridge the gap and fill the thermometer!

Give Online Here

Photo Gallery

Take a moment to enjoy event photos by  James & Kathy Mangis Photography and be sure to check out the photo booth photos from Electric Photoland here and here.

By: Claire Schueman

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