The Herald Bulletin

November 15, 2011

Bobbette Snyder shocked by Athena award

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Between congratulatory hugs and handshakes the dozens of well-wishers gushed over Bobbette Snyder.

“If anyone should have won it was her.” “What a deserving woman.” “I knew it was going to be you.”

But the 2011 Athena Award recipient remained in shock over the whole thing.

“This is such a humbling experience,” Snyder said. “I just thought they had skipped over my name. But my daughter poked me and said, ‘I think you’re it.’”

Just being nominated was an amazing experience for Snyder, she said, pointing out that the group of women she was amongst was a pretty amazing one. She has been nominated several other times.

“I think this award represents everyone in the community,” Snyder said. “I think the award is more about the people behind it. I didn’t do this alone. Everyone supports you and your efforts.”

Snyder is the executive director of the Leadership Academy of Madison County but her dedication to the community doesn’t end there, said Mary Jamerson, president of Myers Autoworld that, along with The Herald Bulletin, is the community supporter for the Madison County Athena Award and Community Shining Stars awards.

She said Snyder leads by example with her community efforts.

Snyder’s tireless efforts with The Festival of Trees — which she began in 1989 — weren’t even forgotten during the afterglow of her Athena victory.

“You’re coming to the festival Saturday, right?” she asked those coming to congratulate her. “I’ve got a tree there!”

Fellow nominee Pam Shoot — director of the Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County — said she was honored to be among the group of nominated women. She, like the other 14 nominees beyond Snyder, were named Community Shining Stars.

“Bobbette is very deserving,” Shoot said. “She has worked tirelessly for this community making it a better place in so many areas. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.”

Shoot said one of the amazing things about the group of nominees was their far-reaching impact on the community. The group of 16 women represent a number of fields across the community including education, business, social services and health care.

“We are all, in our own way, trying to make Madison County a better place for people to live,” she said. “This is a wonderful way to honor all of these women for those contributions.”

Jamerson said the effect that the 16 nominees have on the community was clear and strong. She described the women as “quiet servants” who make the community what it is today.

“You humble us with your game-changing spirit” to empower the community, Jamerson said. “Thank you for your passion.”

Contact Abbey Doyle: 640-4805,