Parties Extra!---Annie Oakley Society Luncheon---Donna Lee Shirley and Jo Rowan received awards
Terri Cooper, Donna Lee Shirley, Cathy Keating. (Photos by Helen Ford Wallace).
The Annie Oakley Society launched another great luncheon at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The members honored Donna Lee Shirley with the Annie Oakley Society Award and Jo Rowan with the Annie Oakley Lifetime Achievement Award. Shirley is a pioneer in robotic space exploration and Rowan is a pioneer in dance education.
The “Out of This World” theme gave a nod to Shirley who was manager of the Mars Exploration Program after a career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Ca. She also managed the team that built Sojourner, the Microrover which was landed by the Mars Pathfinder project on the surface of Mars in 1997.
Bouquets of thistles, protea, silver spheres representing planets, along with tall glasses holding mirror balls decorated the tables. Other tables held spiraling planets with flowers interspersed in the rings. Lunch, also on theme, was grilled chicken salad with a “constellation” of cranberries, pine nuts, and avocado with “rocket bread” and a “dessert galaxy” with “earth and Mars cake balls orbiting in edible stars” in a “vanilla milky way sauce.”
Cathy Keating, Lynn Friess and Judy Hatfield in lace duster jackets, cowboy hats and cowboy boots welcomed the founding members of the Society and guests. The American Spirit Dance Company entertained.
The honorees were presented Annie Oakley statues and Freda Deskin introduced Shirley. Shirley is president of Managing Creativity and has 40 years experience in engineering of aerospace and civil systems, including 30 years in management. Rowan was introduced by Bob Blackburn via video. Rowan is chairman of the Ann Lacy School of American Dance & Arts Management and is founder of the Oklahoma City University Dance Program and director and founder of the American Spirit Dance Co. She is nationally known as a master ballet teacher and performer. She has produced the dance entertainment at every Annie Oakley luncheon since the beginning. Both women were selected award winners because they represent modern -day Annie Oakleys and the resilience and courage of women in the American West.
Keating discussed the group’s project, a soon-to be- built playscape at the Museum which the luncheon supports. Hot pink tee shirts with the logo were party favors for all the guests, along with Milky Ways and tins of pink and silver M&Ms with “Aim High,” Annie Oakley’s motto, written on the candies.
Keating is Annie Oakley Society chairman and Freiss is vice chairman. Judy Hatfield is AOS Oklahoma chairman and Cooper is vice chairman. Other committee members are Mary Ellen Alexander, Wendy Drummond, Freda Deskin, Tricia Everest, Billie McKnight and Avis Scaramucci. Diana Fields is director of the Annie Oakley Society.
Judy Hatfield, Lynn Friess