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Bold and local women honored at luncheon

Seven years ago, the Women’s Center for Spirituality, an organization that provides women opportunities for spiritual growth and study, organized the first Courageous, Bold Women Luncheon.

It began as a way to celebrate women who strived to make the community better without bringing attention to them, said founder Rev. Cheryl Popple.

"This is not a typical award where someone sends in a nomination and a group of people look at the list and pick the winner," Popple told The Park Record. "This was never meant to be a contest. That’s why the first year we honored three people."

This year, there are four women who will be honored at the luncheon that will be held today, May 14, at the Park Meadows Country Club.

The women, Judy Hanley, Susan Horstman, Ying Houang and Sally Pick, were chosen because they have lived their lives in a courageous and bold fashion, Popple said.

"That means they have faced and undergone major challenges and emerged with grace, charm and optimism," she said. "Some have moved into the community and started a worthwhile endeavor, while others worked with the public or their families during a time of crisis or just tried to make the community a better place."

Some of these stories are personal and private, Popple said. "They are not the type of things we would say at the luncheon, but I would say each of the women this year would be the type of woman you would have the greatest time with if you were all stranded on a desert island."

Popple said Houang is a gracious, lovely and remarkable woman to have in the community.

"Ying, who is Chinese, but lived in Vietnam, was one of the Boat People refugees in the 1980s," she said. "She ended up as a young girl 14 and 15 in a refugee camp and was sponsored by members of the Roman Catholic Church in Salt Lake and moved to Park City.

"She came to this country, not speaking any English, to finish high school," Popple said. "She started off cleaning apartments, but now owns Ying’s Laundromat."

Popple met Hanley at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church years ago.

"What I really enjoyed about Judy was hearing her talk about her work with the Native American Ute community out in the Roosevelt/White Rocks area," Popple said. "She organized tubing excursions for the kids, which makes her braver than I’ll ever be. She’s always been like that, though. She sees something that needs to be done and steps in to do it."

Horstman, one of the first female commercial pilots in the United States, was hired by Pan Am, Popple said.

"When the company went bankrupt, Susan didn’t miss a beat and turned her focus in different directions," she said. "One of the more recent stories about Susan is how she took her mother on a long road trip all over the country to visit relatives."

Hortsman bought a van and the two took off for a grand sweep of the country, Popple said.

"It wasn’t too much after that her mother passed away," she said. "In the mean while, Susan has opened her home to different relatives, and also opened a flight school in Salt Lake."

One reason Pick will be honored is because of her volunteering, Popple said.

"If you work in the volunteer world, Sally is your gift from Heaven," she said. "You can count on her to carry out her duties with skill and professionalism. In fact, even though Sally is one of the honorees this year, she’s also the one who is coordinating the reservations for the luncheon."

Although each honoree has gone through their own challenges in their life, their spirits are strong, Popple said.

"Nothing has made them bitter," she said. "Nothing has discouraged them. They are exceptional in a field, so to speak, but that field is not necessary in their career. The honor is not really about what they have done, but who they are as people.

"It’s encouraging to me, personally, to see women being willing to do a part, but not look for praise," Popple said. "For all of us whose hearts can be heavy after reading and listening to the news of the world, this event helps us realize that if we all do our part in our way, we’re going to make our homes and community better places."


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