Sara Hemingway, executive director of the Marilyn and William young Foundation, was the recipient Wednesday of the 23rd annual Athena Award presented by Girls Inc. and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce.
Girls, Inc. Owensboro held a virtual award ceremony to recognize work being done in the Owensboro community to help uplift and create opportunities for women.
“Each year, the Athena Award honors someone in our community who has attained and personifies the highest level of excellence in their profession, someone who has devoted time and energy to the community in a meaningful way and, most especially, someone who has opened the doors of opportunity to women,” said Kirk Kirkpatrick, host of the program.
Girls Inc. Owensboro CEO Tish Osborne said each nominee this year has been an asset to the Owensboro community and is deserving of recognition.
“Our community has benefited just because you are here and all that you have done and believe in doing for others,” she said. “This award is just to shine the light of all of you on the entire community so that your work and your passion can help lead the way for other girls to follow, and they are following you.”
Osborne also thanked Girls Inc. staff and the community for the extra efforts they have put in this year to ensure the organization was able to provide necessary services for their members.
Hemingway was chosen among eight total nominations this year as the Athena Award recipient.
Kirkpatrick described Hemingway as selfless, a committed community leader, a mentor and a role model for women of all ages and backgrounds.
Hemingway has spent the last 18 years as the executive director of the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation, was a founding board member of Impact100 and implemented and chaired the Impact100 NextGen program.
“Not one person should be singled out from this group of many inspiring leaders,” Hemingway said of this year’s Athena nominations. “It’s my honor to be in your company and I share this award with each and every one of you.”
Hemingway said she has spent her entire career working in philanthropy in various capacities.
Getting Impact100 off the ground as a founding board member was one of the most gratifying roles she has taken on within the community, she said. She also enjoys working with young girls for Impact100 NextGen to help them learn about the difference they can make in the community.
Hemingway said she is humbled to be chosen as this year’s Athena Award recipient.
Girls Inc. also honored Clemmie Wolf for this year’s Legacy Award. The award is given to honor individuals who dedicated their lives and work to better the conditions of women and the community.
Wolf gave her life during the Spanish Influenza in 1918 nursing the sick and ensuring people in the community had food and supplies. Eventually, she was struck with the flu herself and passed away the same year.
“Clemmie Wolf was a true hero who exemplified what health care is all about,” said Debbie Bostic, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital COO. “She sacrificed unselfishly to care for her patients and she did everything that she could to help her community stand strong against a terrible disease that took many lives, including her own.”
Along with Hemingway, the 2021 Athena Award nominees included Paula Yevincy, president of St. Joseph Peace Mission for Children; Angela Woosley, Green River District Health Department Public Health supervisor; Cheri Searcy, outreach coordinator with Owensboro Christian Church; Amanda Owen, founder and executive director of Puzzle Pieces; Tammy Maglinger, co-owner of Custom Audio-Video, Inc.; Rosemary Conder, executive director for CASA of the Ohio Valley and Joy Carroll, board chair of Impact 100 NextGen.