One of the great civic institutions in the Wenatchee Valley is the Women's Resource Center, which has provided services to poor and homeless women and families since the 1970s.
WRC is an organization that dreams big and achieves what other organizations would be afraid to tackle as they help people transition from poverty to success. At the annual gala celebration Friday night, community members gathered to celebrate the success of the organization and to raise money to help support it's work.
When Executive Director Phoebe Nelson spoke to the crowd, she made a point of talking about how much their clients were teaching the staff and donors about survival. I very much appreciate and value the perspective that there are valuable lessons to be learned from people who are in very difficult circumstances. That viewpoint is not widely shared in our society these days.
The organization continues to try to do more to serve those in need in our community. A wing of Parkside Manor is being remodeled and will be operated by WRC. More than $2.2 million has been raised so far for the work. More needs to be done to furnish the 15 units so that they can be occupied. The organization runs the Bruce Transitional Housing on Palouse Street for families who are in transition, a food bank and also provides other services to help people break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
At the gala, local civic leader Karen Rutherford was honored as Woman of the Year for her work in the city council and her work with the Wenatchee Downtown Association, Habitat for Humanity, the Wenatchee School District and other projects.
The Campbell Humanitarian of the Year award went to Drs. Tina and Eliot Scull, who have been leaders in conservation efforts in North Central Washington for four decades.