Several women honored by Cape's Zonta Club

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Cape Girardeau Zonta Club presented awards last week to several women who have made a difference in our community.

About 500 people attended the luncheon banquet at Ray's to recognize the Women of Achievement.

Dr. Karen Hendrickson received the lifetime achievement award; Dr. Melissa Daniel Bain was honored with the Celebration Award; and Lt. Col. Stephanie LaPierre, chief performance improvement officer at Saint Francis Healthcare System, was named Woman of Achievement out of a distinguished group of nine honorees.

According to a story by Marybeth Niederkorn, Hendrickson was recognized for her career as a nurse, administrator and educator at SoutheastHEALTH, retiring in 2011, according to Zonta President Cheryl Klueppel's introduction. Hendrickson was also instrumental in developing the hospital's open-heart surgery program, home health, hospice and Hospitalist service, as well as helping establish the first intensive care unit in the region in 1969. Hendrickson also helped establish the Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing, and was the founding director of the Licensed Practical Nursing program at what is now the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center. What a difference Hendrickson has made!

Bain, according to Niederkorn's story, founded and is executive director of the 610 Project, a grassroots organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education. The 610 Project partners with organizations in Haiti, including the Haitian American Caucus, which also work with the local Zonta chapter to support education for more than 500 students, Bain said.

Bain initially went to Haiti as a volunteer with Soles4Souls, joining her then-boyfriend, Heath, whom she later married. Heath died of a heart condition, and Bain had to determine her own purpose and path, so she dedicated her time to traveling and working in Haiti.

Lt. Col. Stephanie LaPierre has an impressive resume of military service, academic achievement and professional success as a nurse and administrator. She attributed much of the success to her father, Larry, who was in attendance. LaPierre was quoted in the Southeast Missourian Zonta tabloid saying, "We must stop waiting for perfect circumstances to take next steps. If you do fail, you become resilient, learn and grow, and no one is the wiser. If you succeed, celebrate and share your jouney so that others may flourish from your experiences."

The 2018 Women of Achievement Award nominees' applications were reviewed by Zonta Clubs throughout the state to determine final selection, to avoid potential bias, presenter Amanda Lincoln said.

Nominees were:

* Kathy Bertrand

* Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs

* Dr. Heather Cugini

* Jamie Koehler

* Lt. Col. Stephanie LaPierre

* Deb Maevers

* Felice Patton

* Faune Riggin

* Becky Wright

Congratulations to all these women, who have achieved much for so many. And thanks goes to the Zonta Club for lifting up women and their accomplishments.

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