4 Clark County women celebrated as extraordinary

Four Clark County women were recognized for outstanding leadership Tuesday during a ceremony put on by the Women’s Partnership Funds.

Debra Baker, Kali Lawrence, Shelley Lopez and Daragh Porter-Wobbe were all named a Clark County extraordinary woman of the year.

The event was put on by the Women’s Partnership Funds, an affiliate of the Springfield Foundation created to address problems facing women in Clark County. The fund now has about $110,000 in its endowment to provide grants and so far has worked with Girls on the Run, a program that uses running to empower girls at several Clark County elementary schools.

RELATED: Stafford: Learn about cancer while applauding survivors

A portion of the proceeds from the luncheon supports the partnership funds.

Baker taught full time at Springfield City Schools from 1982 to 2010. During that time she taught reading recovery, helping the bottom 20 percent of students catch up with their classmates.

“I am a teacher. I serve blind students and adults of all ages,” said Baker, who’s also blind.

Lopez has called Springfield home for the past 20 years. She has a long history of community service and opened a counseling service open to anyone — regardless of their ability to pay. She also heads up the Nehemiah Foundation.

“I stand here today not as an extraordinary woman, but a woman who has had extraordinary opportunities to love, to listen and to lead,” Lopez said.

READ MORE: 92-year-old Springfield woman still swimming, takes life lap at a time

Wobble moved to Springfield after she retired from a successful career in business, including serving as president of MarathonAshlandPipeline. She also served as general auditor and vice president of finance withAshland.

“From the time I moved to this community, I have been so impressed by how many impressive women are busy doing things in Clark County,” she said.

Kali Lawrence was recognized as a promising young woman in the community. She graduated fromWittenbergUniversity and works with the Springfield Promise Neighborhood.

“I wanted initially to be a part of a community, to invest myself,” she said of her hopes after college. “Springfield has allowed me to do that.”

DETAILS: Springfield tied to the mother of modern CSI work

She said she tries to support those who need her help the most.

“Community is built by people who do ordinary and extraordinary things every day,” Lawrence said.

Keynote speaker Jessie Shropshire, a successful Springfield native, spent 40 years working at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is the CEO of Communication Dynamics, a training and consulting firm. She spent much of her speech talking about her time in the former Clark County Children’s Home, where she fondly remembered the women who took care of her and her siblings after her mother died when she was 12 years old.

“They were a bright light in a sea of darkness for a 12-year-old,” Shropshire said. “My surrogate mothers were my unsung heroes … They loved children. They had to love children because there were 2o girls in the dormitory.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

‘Notting Hill’ actress Emma Chambers dead at 53
‘Notting Hill’ actress Emma Chambers dead at 53

Actress Emma Chambers, who played Hugh Grant’s younger sister in the 1999 movie “Notting Hill,” died Wednesday, her agent told CNN. She was 53. Her agent, John Grant, said Chambers died of natural causes. The British actress is survived by her husband, actor Ian Dunn. “Over the years, Emma, created a wealth of characters...
Cross-country team cleans up overflowing trash in elderly couple’s yard
Cross-country team cleans up overflowing trash in elderly couple’s yard

A high school cross-country team in upstate New York helped an elderly couple take out the trash Saturday -- lots of it. Ann and Robert Dobson live in the Rochester suburb of Greece. For more than six years, garbage from a nearby shopping plaza has blown onto the Dobsons’ front yard, Rochester First reported "Last summer when I cleaned...
Kasich: 2-party system may be in jeopardy
Kasich: 2-party system may be in jeopardy

By Jack Torry Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — Launching a spirited attack against the Democratic Party, Ohio Gov. John Kasich charged he has “no clue” what Democrats stand for and complained they have “no agenda.” In a taped interview aired Sunday on “ABC’s This Week,” Kasich offered the strongest signal...
Independent physicians say they’re getting squeezed out of business
Independent physicians say they’re getting squeezed out of business

Thirty years ago, more than three out of four physicians owned their practices but today fewer than half of U.S. physicians work independently of hospital physician networks. High costs and low insurance reimbursement rates have driven more doctors to join hospital physician networks, leaving behind a small number of independent doctors seeking to...
College student discovers true paternity in science class
College student discovers true paternity in science class

One woman got a whole lot more than she paid for in a college science class when she uncovered a nasty family secret. The unnamed student discovered that her father — the man who had raised her since she was a child and who she called “dad” for her entire life — wasn’t really her father. He was her uncle. And the...
More Stories