by John Stratton
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m just a regular person!”
So said the surprised recipient of the Tenth Annual Athena Award at Lake of Isles October 24, as her selection was announced to some 200 leaders from the Stonington-Pawcatuck-Westerly area at the evening gala honoring her and her fellow nominees, as well as six scholarship recipients exemplifying young women of promise in the region.
The Athena Award winner is Marta Parsons of Westerly, who has an unparalleled, 35-year career in nursing and civic leadership, with a “you can do it all and do it well” attitude that she transmitted to countless other women.
There were five nominees for the 2012 award, each of whom has a stellar record of personal and community achievement. The award is sponsored by the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce to “celebrate professional excellence, creativity, and initiative, giving back to the community, and assisting women in reaching their full leadership potential.”
The other nominees were Michelle Yozzo Drake, Cindy Duncan, Janell Hayes Bruno, and Elizabeth “Bobette” McCracken. Alexis Ann of The Resident was the event’s keynote speaker.
This year’s presenting sponsor is Geraldine B. Cunningham Associates, with other sponsorships led by Purchasing Group Power of Northeast, Chelsea Groton Bank, The Day, The Washington Trust Company, The Westerly Hospital, and Zoe and Company, the presenting sponsor for the Athena Scholarship, along with additional donations by Prime Time Café.
Scholarship award winners also reflected leadership and potential.
Winners of the Nancy Creaturo Memorial Scholarship are Bomina Belden and Zoe Prescott, both of Westerly High School, who have worked for the “betterment of downtown Westerly-Pawcatuck” in the spirit of the leader for whom the scholarship is named. The four Athena Scholarship recipients are Emily Buxton, of Stonington High School; Laura Martinelli, of the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical School in Providence; Kelley Miguel, of Westerly High School; and Joni Moody, of Stonington High School.