Thursday, March 20, 2003

Women of Year make life better'



By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Trudi Fullen (left), a 2003 Women of the Year honoree, with Cathryn Hilker, a 1981 honoree, at a reception prior to Wednesday's banquet at the Hyatt Regency, downtown.
(Enquirer photo)
| ZOOM |
"Power lunch" doesn't quite live up to the Wednesday sit-down at the Hyatt Regency for the 2002 Enquirer Women of the Year.

"Dynamo dinner" might be a better term for the event that honored 10 women this 35th anniversary year.

These are the women you call to get things done - now - be it raising thousands of dollars for schools or the arts, championing the rights of minorities, preventing teens from dropping out of high school, lifting the spirits of the depressed, keeping food cupboards full or teaching computer skills to seniors.

"They make those of us with full-time careers look like slugs," said Enquirer columnist and emcee Laura Pulfer.

"Each of these women will tell you they didn't seek the spotlight. They do the work they are being honored for because they see a need and find ways to use their talents to solve problems and make life better for those around them," said Enquirer president and publisher Harry Whipple.

Mayor Charlie Luken said: "It's difficult to imagine what Cincinnati would be without the women we've honored the past 35 years."

More than 940 friends, relatives and past winners turned out to applaud the honorees and the difference they continue to make.

This year's 10 join the ranks of 341 others honored since the program began in 1968.

Rochelle Morton had 10 tables of guests. Marion Thompson's son and grandson from Florida made the trip for her special day. And though Cynthia Muhlhauser's stepson didn't make it to the luncheon, he was expected for a party later in the day.

About 130 alums attended Wednesday's luncheon, including Margaret Long, Class of 1975, wearing the engraved medallion she received that year.

"It's so nice to get invited back every year, though there aren't many from my class anymore," she said.

"I'm always awed when they announce what the new group has done, with all the adversity and problems today," said June Taylor, Class of 1982.

Mamie "Ray" Duff, Class of 1978 came with her friend and nominator, Ginny Dekert of Fort Thomas. They both work for Inside Fort Thomas, a monthly publication.

"She had faith in me in 1978," said Duff. "I still have her nominating letter."

Seeing the new honorees was encouraging for past honorees.

"We're all retired. Someone's got to take over," said Margaret Rost, Class of 1986, though Betty Daniels, from the same class, said, "You'd be surprised how many times they look at your resume and say, `Oh you haven't done this yet. How about ...' It's nice to be recognized, but it's still a responsibility."

This year's honorees:

• Trudi Fullen

• Judith H. Gibbons

• Nancy Condon Gurney

• Patricia Irwin

• Nancy J. Minson

• Rochelle Morton

• Cynthia Sheakley Muhlhauser

• Susan Schiller

• Marion H. Thompson

• Geraldine "Ginger" Warner

E-mail jkraft@enquirer.com




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