Every year, AWARE hosts the Women of Distinction Gala & Silent Auction to:

  • Celebrate women of distinction in our community;
  • Recognize women whose work (paid and/or volunteer) has benefited the lives of women and children in Juneau;
  • Honor unsung heroes of the community, as well as those with publicly recognized achievement;
  • Support and encourage community members and groups to recognize women of distinction within their organizations; and
  • Raise funds to support AWARE’s work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

These are the criteria we use to select the honorees who are nominated by the community:

  • Demonstrated Commitment:Candidate has demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life for women and children in Juneau.
  • Integrity, Dedication, Motivation: Candidate has demonstrated qualities of integrity, dedication, motivation and leadership in the community.
  • Willingness to Share Skills & Knowledge: Candidate has demonstrated the willingness to share her skills and knowledge.
  • Role Model: Candidate has demonstrated qualities of a role model.
  • Supports Diversity: Candidate’s work has represented and/or supported diverse groups within our community.

For additional information, call Mandi Canady at AWARE or email her at WOD@awareak.org.


Congratulations to our 2020 honorees!

Donnie Gott, Lily Hope, Hazel LeCount, and Tari Stage-Harvey!

Dear Juneau,

A lot has happened in the last two weeks. March 7th feels like a long time ago.

On March 7th, we were gathered at Centennial Hall for our annual Women of Distinction Gala. We were laughing at the antics of our emcee, Kris Sell, and our auctioneer, Jesse Kiehl. We were listening to the powerful words of our four honorees, Donnie Gott, Lily Hope, Hazel LeCount, and Tari Stage-Harvey. Each of these women has used her own unique talents to uplift our community and each of them brought deep wisdom and heart to the stage. This celebration is a way for us to affirm the extraordinary effort and enduring commitment these wonderful women of our community have given us.

I am grateful we got to spend that time together! The relationships we’ve built will help us weather the current storm.

Our doors remain open as the stress and isolation of this pandemic makes dangerous home situations worse. Safety planning, counseling, coordinating across agencies, and connecting people to resources are things we do every day. Crisis is what we do at AWARE.

We are here for this, and Women of Distinction has helped to make that possible. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year and each contribution has put us in a stronger position to navigate this pandemic.

We are honored to have been given donations by more than 100 local businesses, 10 local sponsors, and over 400 local donors, in addition to the guests who came and purchased things at the event. 

Gunalchéesh, Haw’aa, and thank you to Salissa Thole, for singing “Auli’I Cravalho–How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana, with piano accompaniment by Luke Weld.

Thank you to all of our sponsors: Mutual of America, Coeur Alaska-Kensington Mine, Emily Klimek, IBEW 1547, Saralyn Tabachnick, Women of the Moose Chapter 439, First National Bank of Alaska, Juneau Radio Center, and KTOO Public Radio.

We are grateful for the AWARE staff and board, and to Mandi Canady, for organizing this event down to the last detail!

Everyone brought their creativity, their truths, their beauty, and their humor.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, please call us at (907)586-6623. AWARE’s services are free and confidential.


Archives: See all of AWARE’s past Honorees from Women of Distinction!


Donnie Gott, Lily Hope, Hazel LeCount, and Tari Stage-Harvey


Francine Eddy Jones, Susan Macaulay, Jorden Nigro, and Janine Reep


June Degnan, Kolene Jame, DaxKilatch, Kueni Ma’ake, and Lauree Morton


Andrea Cesar, Sioux Douglas, Kris Sell, and Rena Sims


Marie Darlin, Justine Muench, Missouri Smyth, and Kristi West

Laraine Derr, Ernestine Hayes, Betty Kaplor, and Shari Paul

Carol Pitts, Elaine Schroeder, Norene Otnes, and Patty Owen

Mary Ellen Arvold, Jackie Martin, Colleen McKenzie and Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy

Amy Dressel, Sharron Lobaugh, Joan O’Keefe and Megan Gregory

Debi Ballam, Susan Cox, Selina Everson and Diana Stevens

Chris Ashenbrenner, carolyn Brown, Bev Ingram and Helen Sarabia

Marla Berg, Ann Boochever, Marsha Buck and Angie Lunda

Helen Abbott-Watkins, Alberta Aspen, Susan Baxter and Betsy Brenneman

Joyanne Bloom, Doloresa Cadiente, Ann Lockhart and Connie Munro

Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Lynnette Dihle, Sally Rue and Tamara Simone Collins

Joy Lyon, Kimberly L. Metcalfe, Jeri Museth and Laura Stats

Beth Belflower, Mildred Boesser, Laury Scandling, Vicki Soboleff

Merry Ellefson, Ethel Lund, Margaret Pugh, Tish Griffin Satre

Robin Gilcrist, Tony Mallot, Fran Ulmer

Glenda Carino, Mo Longworth, Stella Martin, Diane Sly

Diane Lindback, Marie Olsen, Nancy Seamount, Constance Trollan

Linda O. Augustine, Sara Boesser, Kay Greenough, Carla Timpone, Kelly Mangano

Shirley Dean, Kaye Kanne, Myra Munson, Dorothy Thornton

Justine Emerson, Caren Robinson, Linda Torgerson, Freda Westman