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In lieu of the 2020 Rotary Club of Jasper ATHENA Award, the club has decided to recognize the incredible contributions of the pandemic Essential Worker.

A plaque honoring the Essential Worker has been installed in the ATHENA display at the Dubois County Museum with the following inscription:

The COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 impacted and changed lives on a global perspective like no one could have imagined. The viral outbreak caused death, illness, and isolation, requiring people to shelter-in-place to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.

Work and commerce were largely converted to a virtual environment, and a sense of uncertainty impacted consumer spending negatively. Consequently, many lost their jobs or were temporarily laid off.

Through all these challenges, the Essential Worker emerged as a true hero to humanity. Many services could not be converted to a virtual environment, requiring those serving in these positions to show up to work, in-person even in the face of danger. Because of potential exposure to the virus, some of these essential workers had to quarantine away from their loved ones for weeks or months just so they could continue serving others. Some lost their lives.

For this reason and so many more, the Rotary Club of Jasper chooses to recognize the leadership, heroism, and sacrifice of the 2020 Essential Worker!

Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz, ATHENA® International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The program inspires women to reach their full potential and strives to celebrate those who exemplify these leadership traits: Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Learning, Fierce Advocacy, and Celebration & Joy. These personal traits combined with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership—taking risks, assertiveness, and hard work—prepare women to be successful leaders in the 21st Century. The Rotary Club of Jasper is proud to bring this important award to the region recognizing local women leaders at an annual banquet typically held each fall.

Rotary started in Chicago, IL in 1905 and today includes clubs all over the globe with over 1.2 million members, including our very own Rotary Club of Jasper. Rotary is a civic club made up of people who are passionate about serving others, and making things happen for the greater good by creating partnerships and aligning resources through our various personal and professional networks. For information about how you can join the Rotary Club of Jasper contact Membership Chair, Michael Olinger at, or visit us on Facebook @RotaryClubofJasperIndiana.

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