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2009 Okaloosa County Women's Hall of Fame Honorees
Sharlene Cox - Volunteerism Award
Sharlene Cox, a 45-year Okaloosa County resident, is community service personified. She has a dedication found in few people, giving her time and caring in many areas of the county and state. Many organizations and individuals have benefited from Sharlene's work in the Greater Federation of Women's Club in the Crestview, District, and State levels. She is a huge fund raiser and caring volunteer for the American Cancer Society and Red Cross. She has given thousands of hours in health care related activities, especially with pediatrician Dr. Joseph Peter. Sharlene has been a long and faithful volunteer in the Chamber of commerce and with the Supervisor of Elections.
Jean Dutton - Contemporary Award
Jean Dutton has had a positive impact on the lives of women nationally, as well as locally. When her husband became a prisoner of war, she brought wives together in their efforts to endure a difficult situation and to secure humane treatment for American POWs. Since relocating to Fort Walton Beach in 1974, she has worked with the Crisis Line, been an integral part of opening the first local Shelter House for abused women, has been a role model and mentor to professional women through her various associations, a compassionate financial donor to women in need, and active in her faith.
Yvonne Franklin - Community Service Award
Yvonne Franklin makes a big difference in the lives of needy people, showing them that someone cares and giving them hope for a better life. She has participated in Feed the Hungry Saturday lunch program for years, was integral to the success of the Homeless Vet Stand Down, and in 2005, she became the chairperson of the Cold Night program. She has been involved with Sharing and Caring since 1999 and has helped provide dentures and extractions to free of charge, via Dr. Marla Allen, DDS. Yvonne is also a member of the Okaloosa/Walton Homeless Continuum of Care, Opportunity, Inc, an emergency shelter for women and families.
Mitzi Prince Henley - Philanthropy Award
Mitzi Prince Henley, an Okaloosa County resident for 49 years, is the President of three companies in our local area, and gives back to her community contributing as a business woman, philanthropist, volunteer and mentor. Mitzi is active with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast and serves on the Easter Seals Board of Directors. She organized the Science Center, FWB Rotary polio vaccination drive, band and athletic booster clubs and participates on the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County. She has tirelessly raised money through art auctions, poker runs, dinners, talent shows, and tennis and golf tournaments to provide children a safe place to go after school instead of an empty house.
Joyce Sanders - Leadership Award
Joyce Sanders has been a resident of Okaloosa County for 16 years. She served as Chair of the Community Development Committee for the FWB Chamber and later served as President. Joyce received the Business Member of the Year, served as a Trustee of Okaloosa Economic Development Council, is a charter member of the Northwest Florida Day at the Capitol program, Chairman of the 2008 Okaloosa Babies Walk for March of Dimes, and an honorary Commander for the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB. She was recently named a Life Director to FWB Chamber, only the second woman to that status. She volunteers time to lead tours to Tallahassee as part of the Okaloosa and Walton County Leadership programs.
Lenore Wilson - Humanitarian Award
Lenore Wilson is a 27-year resident of Okaloosa County and the Executive Director for Opportunity Place. Previously, she worked with Bridgeway Center as victim service coordinator, with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness. She helped found the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council in 1996, joined the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence Board of Directors, and founded the Okaloosa Walton Sexual Assault Interagency Council in 2001. When these agencies were doing well, she turned her attention to the root causes, extreme poverty and homelessness. As Executive Director for Opportunity Place, she spearheaded the formation of a viable organization with stable funding, member churches and social agencies and a new shelter for women and families.
Community Service Award
Mitzi Prince Henley