Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Woman of the Year Awarded To . . .

Reported in the Grand Haven Tribune - May 7, 2009

by Becky Vargo

SPRING LAKE — Donaylle Rogers said she could have talked all day about what she's gone through in growing up a minority. She said she was used to being picked last or being ignored.

"It's always been really hard to find my place," she said. So when Rogers was informed she was the recipient of this year's Counterpart Distinguished Woman of the Year Award, "I really didn't get it," she said.

Committee members, who usually were able to surprise the recipient with the annual honor, had to tell Rogers she had won in order to get her to cancel lunch-hour appointments with her clients Wednesday. It had to be something really important for Rogers to do that.

Rogers still didn't realize the impact until her name was announced and she was compared to the others who had previously won the award from the local women's group.

"As our members know, it has been a 28-year tradition of Counterpart to welcome bright, strong, committed women into its membership," said Bobbi Sabine, the organization's president and 2005 award recipient. "So it's only fitting that we ... take a leadership role in recognizing those women in our community who possess these same worthy characteristics, and who have effectively and selflessly worked for the betterment of the community."

The 38-year-old Grand Haven resident easily fits those characteristics, according to employees of the Center for Women in Transition who nominated Rogers.

CWIT Executive Director Charisse Mitchell said through her business in downtown Grand Haven, Donaylle Nicole Salon, Rogers has become one of the strongest supporters of the center.

Rogers has established a number of events, which not only raise funds for the center but also provide a way for women to interact and learn about helping each other. These events include a recent fashion show, downtown cut-a-thons and the monthly Bring Your Own Blowdryer evenings.

"She does amazing work," Mitchell said. "She's just a woman who stands out in our community."

Mitchell said the people at CWIT know what Rogers and her colleagues do in the community, so they nominated her for the award "so everyone else would know, too."

Rogers' own employees speak proudly of their boss. In the nomination, one of them called her "an exceptional person and outstanding boss," someone who "goes above and beyond the normal employer by taking a personal interest in each and every one of us by finding ways to help us better ourselves and be more successful."

Rogers, who grew up in Big Rapids, said she constantly faced the issues of being a minority. She said she was warned not to move to Grand Haven, let alone start a business there — but Rogers bucked the odds.

She started out small, working for another salon first, but said she has seen much success since opening her first business six years ago. Rogers is also an active member of her church, volunteering many hours a month to teach Bible classes and help out in other ways.

Members of her family are also heavily involved in charitable work — including her husband, Adam; and three children: Kennedy, 9, Bella, 6, and Jasiri, 2.

Rogers' sister, Marla Curry, said Counterpart made the right choice and that her sister was deserving of the award. "I work with her every day and I see what she tries to accomplish," Curry said. "Everything she does is about empowering and supporting women," Mitchell added.

Counterpart, founded in 1976, places emphasis on programs that benefit women and children. It gives its members an opportunity to become better acquainted with their contemporaries, and to grow in knowledge and appreciation of the community. The group has noon luncheon meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Holiday Inn in Spring Lake. For more information, call Sabine at 844-5092. For lunch reservations, call Martha Roldan at (616) 607-9205.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments have value, please leave a comment.