Macomb Feminist Network seeks applications

Tabi Jozwick

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The Macomb Feminist Network (MFN) is seeking nominations for the 2017 Writing Women into History Award.

 “Each year people are nominated,” said MFN member Sandy Nelson. “It can be someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the community.”

 The award, which was established in 2010, aims to honor women in the McDonough County community who worked to make the county a better place.

 “They have to be nominated and reside in McDonough County,” Nelson said. “They have been exceptional role models through their initiatives, advocacy and/or engagement and have made extraordinary contributions within the local community.”

 Previous award recipients from 2010 to 2014 included Mary Ellen Graff, Rosa Julstrom and Stiffler for the 2010 award; Constance DeMuth Berg, Marcia Moll and Ruth Parks for the 2011 award; Maria Dunstan, Judith Kohler and Donna Werner for the 2012 award; Josephine Johnson, Elizabeth “Betty” Kaspar and Janice Welsch for the 2013 award; Gordana Rezab, Mary Warnock and Alice Swain for the 2014 award. The recipients for the 2015 award were Lois Ganyard,
Suzan Nash and Margaret Ovitt.

 “The women who were nominated last year, Alice Henry, who has been involved with the nature conservatory in McDonough County also (has) been the finance chair in the county board,” Nelson said. “Alta Sargent started various things including working with Altrusa and the hospital auxiliary, and they started the food shop at the auxiliary.”

 A fundraiser for Altrusa was the Altrusa Bazaar held at the Macomb Junior-Senior High School on Nov. 12 with vendors from many different companies. The money raised was used for tutoring children in the summer.

“Peggy Scharfenberg was nominated and received an award for starting Baby Talk,” Nelson said. “It’s for newborn parents and they can go in and give them suggestions on how to care for their baby, take a book and stress the importance of reading to infants and children throughout the early years and she has been involved in a number of other things.”

 If you would like to make a nomination, you can do so by filling out
the nomination form with a letter of support attached. Self-nominations with a letter of support might be considered. Nominations of women who passed away are also acceptable.

 “Anyone can nominate,” Nelson said. “They send in a letter of nomination indicating why the person should be selected and what have they actually done and they send in a supporting letter with that. A
person can nominate themselves with letters of support from
other people.”

 So far, there had not been any self-nominations but there were nominations of women who passed away. Family members of award recipients that passed away accepted the award on their deceased family member’s behalf.

 Nelson said that Mary Warnock won a national award for starting the Eldercare booklet.

 “(Eldercare) is available throughout town and doctors’ offices,” Nelson said. “(As well as) hospitals and so forth, which gives a full range of services that is available to anyone in the seniors and it’s updated every year and they won a national award.”

 The recipients will be honored by the MFN at the Western Illinois University Multicultural Center on Saturday, March 4, 2017 with a brunch reception from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend the reception.

 Nominations forms can be downloaded from the MFN’s website at or by contacting Nelson at Questions about the award could be directed at Nelson. Nomination deadline is Monday, Nov. 30.

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