Girls Inc. receives donation, despite ATHENA event cancellations

Despite the pandemic-forced cancellation of the Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards for the second year in a row, a $3,000 donation was recently presented to Girls Inc. of Wayne County on behalf of sponsors Indiana University East and Wayne Bank.

Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards present a donation to Girls, Inc. on behalf of sponsors Indiana University East and Wayne Bank. Girls Inc. of Wayne County Executive Director Marcy Crull received the donation from (left) JoAnn Spurlock, vice president and director of operations at Wayne Bank, and (right) Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East.

“We believe it is even more important to give back in support of such non-profit organizations during these challenging times,” said Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East. She and JoAnn Spurlock, vice president and director of operations with Wayne Bank, presented the funds to the organization on Friday.

IU East and Wayne Bank have partnered to bring the event to the community since 2014, recognizing a diverse group of community leaders. The 2020 event, scheduled in early summer, was also cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Marcy Crull, Girls Inc. executive director, said her organization’s work continues through the pandemic.

“Girls Inc. appreciates our partnership with ATHENA and the support they have given to Girls Inc. over the years,” Crull said. “2020 brought new challenges to the girls and families we serve. Our work could not pause. We had to adapt, shift how we could provide our services, and continue to focus on our mission. Partners like ATHENA help make our work possible – to inspire ALL Girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to exemplary leaders who have achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way, and — most importantly – actively assisted women achieve their full leadership potential. These leaders motivate, inspire and create positive change in the community. Previous recipients include Mary Jo Clark, Jackie Carberry, Kim Poinsett, Angie Dickman, Janis Buhl-Macy, and Melissa Vance.

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award actively supports and celebrates the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential. Nominees are 18-35, and are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Previous recipients include Jessie Pilewski and Ashley Sieb.

This was to be the first year for the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award. Nominees will be businesses or organizations who create an organizational culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential or gives back to the larger community of women and girls by providing and-or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives.

“Although we are not able to host the ATHENA Awards this year, we encourage our community to take note of all the amazing people and organizations who continue to support, develop and honor women leaders. We hope to see a record-breaking number of nominations in 2022,” Spurlock said.

Proceeds from the event have equally benefitted the Women’s Fund of Wayne County and Girls, Inc., and the Boys & Girls Club.

For more information on Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards, visit