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Bold, courageous and humbled

From left, Pattie Dahlin, Pat Drewry Sanger, Traci Johnson and Barbara Yarbenet were honored at the 2010 Courageous, Bold Women Luncheon Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Popple)
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It would be simple enough to list the reasons why four local women were honored at the Courageous, Bold Women Luncheon on Saturday. But doing so would not fully convey the essence of the award.

The distinction is granted each year to women who are making a difference and going about it in a small, quiet way. Their accomplishments are not the type of thing that would appear on a resume or that they openly boast about – they are the little things that improve the community.

"Their stories are so much bigger than anything I can tell you about them," said Cheryl Popple, the leader of the Women’s Center for Spirituality, which selects the recipients each year.

The 2010 Courageous, Bold Women – Pat Drewry Sanger, Barbara Yarbenet, Pattie Dahlin and Traci Johnson – joined previous honorees and community supporters Saturday at the Park Meadows Country Club to modestly bask in the recognition.

Pat Drewry Sanger is the founder and executive director of Arts-Kids, the local after-school youth-development program that teaches life skills through paint, clay and other mediums.

Sanger started Arts-Kids 11 years ago after moving to Park City from Norfolk, Va. She brought with her three cats, a three-legged dog and ample experience working with inner city kids as a child and adolescent psychotherapist.

She had no experience running a nonprofit organization but was determined to manifest her desire to nurture children’s development through artistic endeavors.

Art-Kids programs are offered in local schools as well as on the Ute Reservation in northwestern Utah. Sanger hopes to make the local program sustainable and expand Arts-Kids in other areas of the country.

Of receiving the Courageous, Bold Woman award, Sanger said, "I was very humbled and honored. I do what I do because I believe in it, not for the recognition, so it’s nice to be validated."

Popple describes Barbara Yarbenet as the type of person who, instead of slamming the door in a solicitor’s face, will invite them in to chat. She provides a helping hand whenever she can and never fails to put others before herself.

"Being bold and courageous is doing what needs to be done in the best way that you can," Yarbenet says. "It’s about what makes you happy, and that’s not usually putting yourself first."

Yarbenet is active in the Park City Community Church, gets involved at local schools and volunteers for various organizations. She is also an ad sales representative for The Park Record.

She recently invited a young person who was having a hard time to live with her family, despite having three kids of her own to care for.

"You don’t do this kind of stuff for accolades," she says. "None of the women who have received this award do what they do for the recognition, but it’s an affirmation that you’re doing the right thing."

Pattie Dahlin started the Christian Center of Park City with her husband, Tim, 10 years ago. As executive administrator, she handles the business aspect of the operation and handles what goes on "behind the scenes."

Her daughter, Traci Johnson, also works at the center as manager of the food pantry and thrift stores. Dahlin and Johnson received mother-daughter accolades Saturday for their exemplary work.

"I think the thing that’s important to talk about is the passion that drives the work they do," Popple said.

According to Johnson, her mother is her role model. "She’s the glue that holds everything together," she said, adding, "We work really, really well together. At the end of the day, we still like each other."

The women admitted that although their jobs may not seem courageous and bold, their responsibilities can be daunting at times. The hardest part is discerning whose need is greater and whether people are taking unfair advantage of services offered. "You’re not always well-liked," Johnson said.

"You kind of stick your neck out there. Sometimes people love us and sometimes they hate us," Patti added. "It’s really special to be honored. It’s not something we need to keep us going, but it’s very thoughtful."


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