Judy Crockett

Judy Crockett
Judy Crockett

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Congratulations Carol Atkins

Manistee held its fourth annual Athena Awards at Manistee Golf and Country Club today, Wednesday, May 7, 2008. Carol Atkins was the recipient of the award at a luncheon filled with community members and supporters.

The ATHENA Award Program was created in 1982 by ATHENA Founder Martha Mayhood Mertz through her partnership with the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. The program was developed to recognize and honor outstanding business and professional individuals for excellence in their chosen field, for providing valuable service to their community, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills.

By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence and to improve the quality of life for others in the community.

Carol was a natural fit for this prestigeous recognition. A playwright, newspaper columnist, journalist, poet, historian, and activist, Carol has been a tireless champion of women's rights and she has been a supporter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) since its inception in 1966.

Carol is a member of the Women's Economic Resource Center and she was the keynote speaker at our annual meeting. We are so honored to have Carol among us, mentoring us, and continuing to pave the way for equality for all people. Bless you Carol and Congratulations.

LUNAFEST May 10, 2008 in Manistee

MANISTEE - - - The Women’s Economic Resource Center will host their third annual LUNAFEST Film Festival Saturday May 10th at 6:30pm at the Historic Ramdsell Theater in Manistee. These international award-winning films tackle issues of war, death, homelessness, happiness, homosexuality, family ties, women in sports competition, cosmetic surgery, and motherhood.
“This film festival features nine short films by, for, and about women,” said Judy Crockett from the Women’s Economic Resource Center. “These films celebrate and inspire women through the art of film and community fundraising. If you love good films, you will love LUNAFEST, men and women alike.”
How important is a birthday cake? Make a Wish is a 12-minute film about a young Palestinian girl who will do whatever it takes to buy a birthday cake. This film has a surprise ending.
My Other Mother deals with the issue of crib death, or “cot” death as it is known in Africa. When her baby sister dies, Margo’s other mother shows her how to grieve.
In the two-minute animated Mrs. Ana, homeless Mrs. Ana is the seller of medicinal plants in Medellin, Columbia. She shares the joys and hardships of her life along with her love of strawberries.
For some women, buying new shoes brings happiness. Seventy-one percent of women would buy more shoes if they could afford to, and fifty percent acknowledge they sacrifice comfort for style. Director Sophie Barthes from New York introduces us to Iwona, who buys a box of Happiness at a strange discount store and has to decide what to do with it.
Keeping a secret for some means hiding a part of themselves. For Katrin, keeping her secret means leaving her native Iceland, in this whimsical tale of family secrets, only to return to find hers is not the only story in the family. Director Isold Uggadottir of New York reveals prejudices of homosexuality in this nineteen-minute film filmed in part in Iceland.
If you have ever been embarrassed by your mother and thought “I’ll never be like her,” then looked in the mirror one day and saw your mother in yourself, you will appreciate the animated work of director Ru Kuwahata. In Daikon Ashi, a young girl struggles with adolescent rebellion and the reality of family ties.
Women were excluded from the original Olympic Games, so in 776 B.C. they formed their own games, The Games of Hera, honoring the Greek goddess of women and earth. Women were formally allowed to join Olympic competition in 1900. Breaking Boundaries: The Sondra Van Ert Story is a documentary of female athlete’s determination and success by Director Jennifer Grace of Bozeman, Montana.
Movies, magazines, and commercial advertising tell women beauty is attainable through cosmetic surgery, lotions, and creams. Award-winning director Jesse Erica Epstein tells a male dancer’s comical story about his prominent nose and the effect it has on his career in The Guarantee.
The final film in the nine-film LUNAFEST Film Festival is only three minutes in length. Screened in Turkey, Australia, and Los Angels, Pockets is directed by Sophia Ohara. In this animated short film, a pocket becomes an abstract metaphor for the journey of motherhood.
Of the top 250 grossing films of 2005, only 17% of all directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors were women. In 2005, only 7% of film directors were women. LUNAFEST highlights the contributions of women to film. To learn more about the films and the stories behind them, visit www.lunafest.org.
“This is the third LUNAFEST Film Festival we have held in Manistee,” said Crockett. “Each year, we are more impressed with the captivating intellect, humor, and story-telling of these short films. WERC is proud to sponsor this festival and celebrate the work of these writers, directors, and producers, and to bring a program of this quality to our communities. Men and women alike with appreciate this event.”
Tickets for the film festival are $25 and are available at Wahr Hardware, Goody’s Juice and Java, and Suvi Boutique in Manistee and at Closson’s Jewelry in Ludington. The cost of admission includes the film festival, as well as a cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres social following the films. Doors open at 6:30pm. The films begin at 7:00pm and the social follows at 8:30pm. The event will be held at the Historic Ramsdell Theater on Maple Street in Manistee.
LUNAFEST net proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund as well as the local Women’s Economic Resource Center Giving Circle Fund at the Manistee County Community Foundation.
LUNAFEST is a program of WERC. For more information visit the WERC website at www.manisteewerc.org. The mission of WERC is to support the professional development and leadership of women and girls.

Career- Mentoring Scholarships Awarded

MANISTEE – Participants in the WERC Career-Mentoring program will be recognized at the Thursday May 15 Women’s Economic Resource Center netWork luncheon beginning at 11:45 at Manistee Golf and County Club on Cherry Street in Manistee. This program of WERC was created to match high school aged girls with women working in professional fields, giving the girls an opportunity to experience a career path before college.

Certificates of Completion, including the first $250 scholarships awarded by WERC, are being awarded to:
-Megan O'Brien
Mentoring Program: Public Service
Senior, Manistee High School
(She completed the program during her sophomore year.)
Mentor: Janice McCraner, Manistee County Commissioner
College: Central Michigan University

-Kathrine Russell
Mentoring Program: Architecture
Senior, Brethren High School/KND
(She completed the program during her sophomore year.)
Mentor: Kendra Thompson, Kendra C. Thompson Architects, P.C.
College: Grand Valley State University

The current mentor/mentee participant will be awarded a certificate of completion at the June luncheon. Attorney Jane Johnson was the mentor for student Ashley Fraley, from Brethren High School/KND. Ashley’s area of interest is law.

Past career-mentors included a nurse practitioner and a chemical engineer.

WERC is finalizing mentors for the 2008-2009 academic school year and will be notifying county school counselors soon. Applications will be made available to interested students in early September.

“Scholarship dollars for this program are from the WERC Giving Circle Endowment Fund at the Manistee County Community Foundation. This fund was started in December, 2005 with initial dollars raised by the Women’s netWork,” said Kendra Thompson, WERC Scholarship Chair. “We encourage the community to support this fund so that we are able to expand the scholarship program.”
In addition to the Giving Circle Fund, WERC will also build partnerships with other programs and organizations that are working to provide sustainable livelihoods, political and leadership opportunities and access for women and girls. More information about WERC can be found at the web site www.manisteewerc.org