The keynote speaker for the evening was Renee Powell, owner and head golf professional at Clearview Golf Course in East Canton. She spoke about her family’s history in golf and the struggles they faced as blacks in a predominately white sport. They had many barriers along the way but never gave up. Her father founded and built Clearview Golf Course and Renee was only the second black female golfer in the LPGA. She now speaks all over the world and has an honorary membership in the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. What an inspiring story, thank you Renee for sharing it with us.

Also, during the evening, the Women’s Division presented their annual Athena Award. This year’s recipient was Pat Gates. The Athena Award is a national award presented to an outstanding business or professional woman who has attained and embodies the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession, has devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively assists women in realizing their leadership potential. Pat certainly has far exceeded all these criteria. Pat was a math teacher at Marlington High School and was the first female athletic director in a public school in Ohio. She is very involved in the Alliance community with the University of Mount Union Alumni Council, Alliance Kiwanis Club, Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity, Union Avenue United Methodist Church, Alliance Community Pantry and many others. Congratulations Pat on a well-deserved recognition!!

The past Athena Award and Woman of the Year recipients presented their fifth annual scholarship. The Athena/Woman of the Year Scholarship is presented to a deserving female high school senior who has demonstrated community involvement, academic achievement and leadership. This year’s recipient of the $1000 scholarship was Fatima Meza, a senior at Alliance High School. Congratulations Fatima!!

The evening could not have happened without the financial support of our sponsors: the Platinum Sponsors were Alliance Ventures, Carnation Security, Consumers National Bank, Copeland Oaks, Huntington National Bank and Nationwide Insurance- the Burgess Group. Gold Sponsor was AA Hammersmith Insurance. Silver Sponsors were Clifton Larson Allen LLP and the Eastern Stark County Safety Council. Your generous support is greatly appreciated, THANK YOU!!