Distinctive? Yes, ma’am!

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BRIAN WALKER/Press Soroptimist International of Coeur d’Alene honored seven women with Women of Distinction Awards on Friday at Cedars Floating Restaurant in Coeur d’Alene. Six of the winners were, from left, Elaine Magnus, Seniors; Brook Bassett, Arts and Culture; Lisa Wendle, Public Service; Jane Spohn, Health; Rosa Mettler, Business and Professional; and Carla Hussein Dvoracek, Education. Not pictured is Katie Bane, Community Service.


Staff Writer

COEUR d'ALENE — They're the movers and shakers who help make the gears of our community turn.

At the 35th annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon at Cedars Floating Restaurant on Friday, Soroptimist International of Coeur d'Alene honored seven women for their talent and hard work toward serving others.

Proceeds from the event help support local females through education scholarships.

"We empower local women and girls through access to education," said Angie Comstock, program coordinator. "That's impactful."

Award winners, their affiliations and the categories included:

• Elaine Magnus, Rose Terrace Cottages, Seniors;

• Brook Bassett, Christian Youth Theater and Lake City Playhouse production director, Arts and Culture;

• Lisa Wendle, Hauser Lake Fire Department, Public Service;

• Jane Spohn, Kootenai Health nurse, Health;

• Rosa Mettler, Children's Village chief officer, Business and Professional;

• Carla Hussein Dvoracek, an educator on addictions and mental health issues, Education; and

• Katie Bane, North Idaho Fair and Rodeo volunteer, Community Service.

Wendle has been president of the Hauser Lake Fire Auxiliary for 19 years and assists with the department's annual Shalena's Breakfast with Santa fundraiser to assist local families that have a child with cancer. She is also a volunteer fire commissioner and assists volunteer ski patrollers.

"Ever since I was a little girl, my mom has shown me the importance of helping others and the power of presence, service, a helping hand and a smile," said Christie Johnson, who nominated her mom for the award.

Bane served as president of the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo Foundation for four years. She has also served as chairwoman of the Silver Buckle Club at the Gem State Stampede since 2012.

Bane was instrumental in starting the process to launch the first-ever endowment for the foundation.

"She is a big part of the success of our annual local fair as she seeks sponsorships..." said Gayle Stemann, who nominated Bane.

Mettler oversees the staff at the two residential homes of Children's Village. She’s developing a therapeutic program to help children.

Magnus has been working with the mentally ill for more than 10 years with an open mind and big heart, her nominators said. She organizes fundraisers to make residents' Christmases and birthdays special.

Bassett created "Girl Awake" to address painful issues young women face globally and socially. Local girls audition to be part of the project, which has had three years of productions. Bassett is also the writer and director for Coeur d'Alene Mystery Theater and owns her own dance studio.

Dvoracek teaches people who want to be chemical dependency counselors. She started a bereaved parents support group and is a human rights advocate. Law enforcement agencies have had her educate officers on how to handle residents with addiction and mental health issues.

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