YWCA Walla Walla’s Fireside Room was festive on Monday, February 4, when nearly 80 friends joined staff and board members at the 101st Year-in-Review Luncheon. The annual event celebrates the previous year’s accomplishments and those people who have helped YWCA staff serve women and families.
YWCA LiNC Director Deana York spoke about the program’s first year. LiNC, Living in New Circumstances, focuses on helping people move beyond survival and learn practical skills that will help them thrive. One of the 46 domestic violence survivors (pictured, right) who has completed the program spoke movingly about her newfound self-confidence.
YWCA Prevention Specialist Kenia Pineda and Mariposa Leader Hannah Siepmann (pictured) talked about their prevention work with middle and high school students. The goal of YWCA prevention programs is to help young people learn how to establish healthy relationships. As YWCA Executive Director Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin explained, “Our first priority is helping domestic violence and sexual assault survivors feel safe, respected, and believed, but our goal is a world where every girl is on her way to achieving her dreams and there is no domestic violence to hold her back.”
In addition to sharing successes, several individuals and businesses were recognized for outstanding YWCA service. Board member Anne Moore (pictured with board member Kristine Holtzinger) received a staff award for her work highlighting the YWCA at community events. Office Assistant Luna Fairbanks was honored by the YWCA Board for setting an extremely high bar when it comes to representing the YWCA and its clients. The staff volunteer award was presented to Whitman College senior and YWCA Intern Maeve McCracken.
Community partners Northwest Collision, Whitehouse-Crawford, Seven Hills Winery, Shop Eleven, Sweetwater Paper and Home, and DAMA Wines were each honored for their many contributions to YWCA Walla Walla.