The 16 finalists for this year’s Athena Award are great examples of what Athena is all about, said Mary Jamerson, president of Myers Autoworld.

“These are amazing women who excel in their own professions while at the same time give back to the community and are good role models for other women,” Jamerson said.

Myers Autoworld, as well as The Herald Bulletin, are the community supporters for the Madison County Athena Award and Community Shining Stars awards.

“We are very excited about the group of finalists we have this year,” Jamerson said. “The women come from wide-reaching backgrounds — self-employed, nonprofit, service, education and business. The awards aren’t intended to be a contest between the nominees, rather it is a recognition of contributions they are making to the community in hopes of inspiring others to follow in their paths.”

One of the 16 nominees will be given the Athena Award and the other 15 will receive a Community Shining Stars award, she said.

The gala to honor the women will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Anderson Country Club. There are some individual tickets and sponsorships — ranging from silver to platinum — available. Individual tickets are $40 each.

For more information about the event or to purchase a ticket or sponsorship, contact Tami Morgan-Shackelfurd at Ford Autoworld by calling 649-3673. Tickets for the event usually sell very quickly, she said.

The Athena Awards are given out across the world, although Jamerson said the Madison County program is unique as it honors all of the nominees with the Shining Stars award. A selection committee for the awards receives public nominations and then narrows the field, this year to 16, with one woman receiving the Athena Award.

Proceeds from the gala go toward a $2,500 scholarship for a female student attending Anderson University’s school of business, offering an “opportunity for young women to follow in the footsteps of the finalists,” Jamerson said.

Last year’s Athena winner was Mary Jo Lee, president and CEO of Alternatives Inc., which provides housing and outreach services to women and children who are homeless or victims of domestic violence.

Contact Abbey Doyle, 640-4805, abbey.doyle@heraldbulletin.com.

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