Women honored, celebrated in county

Published by The Eatonton Messenger
Ron Bridgeman
April 4, 2013



Friday was a time to “recognize our heroes – and she-roes,” said Laura Meadows, director of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, starting a brief talk at the local Women in History Day celebration.

Seven women were honored for contributions to the community during the ceremony at The Plaza Arts Center.

It was the 10th year local women were honored. The event was revived this year after missing 2011 and 2012. Janie Reid, District 2 county commissioner, organized the ceremony.

Honored were:

• Kimberly Hicks-Grable, teacher in the adult education program at Central Georgia Technical College.

• Patricia Mason and Marian Hill, librarian and library associate, respectively, Eatonton-Putnam County Library.

• Bonnie Simmons, tourism and special events coordinator, Eatonton-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

• Jennifer Elise Rainey, founder of a local women’s ministry, “wall breakers,” and receptionist at The Peoples Bank.

• Shelagh Fagan, volunteer in local historic preservation and Mainstreet programs.

• Spc. Erica Alecksen Bailey, a soldier from Eatonton who died in an explosion in Afghanistan in July 2012.

The program theme was “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination.”

Meadows mentioned several women who broke barriers for others in the space program, including Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, and Sandra Magnus, who flew on the final space shuttle mission.

She noted that Berry College in North Georgia was started by a woman and that the U.S. Senate now has its highest number of women ever – 20. She mentioned Reid, Alma Stokes and Teresa Doster, local women who are elected officials.

Meadows quoted Mother Teresa, “I know God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

Eatonton Mayor John Reid presented certificates to the honorees; he and Steve Hersey, chairman of the Putnam County Board of Commissioners, unveiled a plaque with the women’s names for the library.