The sole mission of the Women of Achievement luncheon is to honor the volunteer service and leadership of women. Chartered in 1976, the Zonta Club of Cape Girardeau is the oldest organization to recognize the significant contributions of women for their dedication and commitment to the region. Over 120 women have been selected from nominations submitted by individuals, organizations and the community. The honorees represent a diverse group of women in our community and are recognized each November at an awards luncheon for the lasting impact each has made on the region. The generous support of corporate and individual sponsors enables Zonta to recognize these deserving women and provide funding to organizations that improve the lives of others locally and worldwide. Additionally, the support of this event has been overwhelming, with more than 500 attending each year.
All honorees have made an enduring impact on their community. They may advocate against domestic violence and child abuse, or they may share their talents by building schools on foreign mission trips. Some Women of Achievement have used their dental and medical skills to bring comfort to others living in third world countries. They may be educators, building a strong foundation for young minds or be champions for the arts or successful business owners. They may advocate for justice, fighting poverty or helping animals find their forever homes. All of the honorees continue to make a significant impact through their volunteer work. Their passion and compassion are easily recognized through their daily commitment to the community.
This past year's event was held:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017
EXPO BEGINS AT 10:30 AM
LUNCHEON 11:30 - 1 PM
RAY'S PLAZA IN CAPE GIRARDEAU
More than 500 people attended our luncheon, with proceeds of more than $20,000 to improve the lives of women in our community and throughout the world. THE 2017 EVENT WAS SOLD OUT. Thank you to our Sponsors & Attendees! For inquires on this past year's event please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to giving back, our luncheon allows us to honor and recognize local women for their accomplishments and contributions to our community. Each year we present a Woman of Achievement Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Celebration Award. We also recognize local scholarship recipients.
We are pleased that our 2017 Lifetime Achievement honoree is Wendy Kurka Rust. Mrs. Rust has always been an advocate for the arts and theater education. Her leadership and support for the arts were recognized in 1983 when she received the Otto F. Dingeldein award from the Southeast Missouri Council on the Arts. Mrs. Rust is a talented and accomplished artist who studied painting at Washington University under a fine arts scholarship. Among her works on public display are the murals in the children’s meeting rooms at La Croix Church and the Media Row mural, which she designed, in downtown Cape. Wendy and her family have been generous financial supporters of the fine arts at Southeast Missouri State University and on the River Campus, the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible theatre is named in her honor.
Our Celebration Award recipient is Supreme Court Judge, the Honorable Mary Rhodes Russell. Russell grew up on a dairy farm in Hannibal and entered the University of Missouri –Columbia School of Law at a time when it was considered a non-traditional field for women. Upon graduation, she clerked for the Supreme Court, spent a decade in private practice, and served on the Missouri Court of Appeals for nine years. She is a champion of effective civics education and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2004. In 2006 Russell overwhelmingly won re-election for a twelve year term. Her ability to develop networks of friends in various areas and her understanding of rural and urban communities has been instrumental in her on-going success on the bench. Russell’s civic and charitable activities are extensive and she has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for her integrity, commitment to the profession of law and passion to improve the lives of others.
2017 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT NOMINEES
We presented a Woman of Achievement Award to one of these fabulous nominees. We also celebrated the Lifetime Achievement Award for Wendy Kurka Rust and the Celebration Award for the Honorable Mary Rhodes Russell. Thank you to our Sponsors & Attendees for supporting this wonderful event, which celebrates the many accomplishments of women in our local community!