PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Five Coachella Valley women from the realms of politics, entertainment and philanthropy were recognized Friday at the Athena Awards holiday gala in Palm Springs.
The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce's 31st annual awards ceremony recognized former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer; Palm Springs Art Museum chairwoman Donna MacMillan; KESQ anchor Karen Devine; the McCallum Theatre's senior vice president of development Betty Wolf; and Dr. Suzanne Quardt, a surgeon and former co-chair of the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards.
Senator Barbara Boxer
Boxer, a Coachella Valley resident, is being honored "for her commitment to supporting equality for women and the LGTBQ community,'' as well as her efforts to secure funding for a new control tower at Palm Springs International Airport and ongoing support of Coachella Valley nonprofits.
MacMillan is being recognized for her support of local arts and cultural events, including Desert X, the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, in addition to her work with the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Karen Devine, who this year will mark 25 years as a journalist in the Coachella Valley, is being recognized "for her integrity and commitment to fair and balanced reporting.''
Karen Devine is an award winning journalist who brings nearly 25 years of local news experience to KESQ News Channel 3. Karen has brought you one-on-one interviews with Barbara Walters and the ladies of The View, Journalist Katie Couric, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Suzanne Somers, Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and live coverage from the tarmac at the Palm Springs International Airport for the arrival of President Obama.
Karen is a two-time regional Edward R. Murrow Award winner.
The Coachella Valley community is very important to Karen, who is currently serving on two local boards: Palm Springs Women in Film and Television and The Girlfriend Factor.
Karen headlines multiple speaking engagements every year and mentors up and coming journalists. Readers of The Desert Sun Newspaper voted Karen "Best of the Best" three times. Readers of Palm Springs Life Magazine voted her "Most Popular" news personality in the Valley.
You can watch her weeknights at 5, 6 & 11 p.m.
Betty Wolf, in addition for her work with the McCallum Theatre, "is well known throughout the desert for developing community partnerships and million- dollar annual giving and philanthropic initiatives that have led to the survival of important arts, education and healthcare programs in the Coachella Valley,'' according to organizers.
Wolf also previously served as vice president of the foundation for Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.
Dr. Suzanne Quardt
Quardt "has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of the Desert AIDS Project'' and is "well known in the Coachella Valley as a leading plastic surgeon and business leader, who gives back to the community through her time and volunteer efforts,'' according to the Chamber.
Friday's gala at Renaissance Palm Springs will also include a champagne reception and fashion show.
This group of extraordinary women exemplify the highest level of professional achievement when it comes to serving as role models, breaking the glass ceiling and leading the way for current and future generations of women leaders in the Coachella Valley,'' said Nona Watson, the Palm Springs Chamber's CEO.
"We are thrilled to celebrate these five fabulous ladies who are truly making a difference in our community.''
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