Vickie Walters has been named the recipient of the 2023 Founders Award from the Madison chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
The award honors women whose contributions impact the quality of life for women and families in the Madison area.
“Many local heroes go unnoticed, and I feel that Vickie is one such person,” said Marilyn Halgerson, president of the Madison AAUW. “For many years, Vickie has made outstanding contributions to the Madison community and demonstrates extraordinary commitment to all she encounters.”
Walters volunteers with a long list of local groups, including the local Kiwanis Club. In addition to helping organize or attend club events such as the annual Pancake Day, she has served in leadership roles. She was elected as the club’s first woman president in 2000 and as lieutenant governor from 2005-09. Through this opportunity, she was able to travel to international conventions in Hawaii and Montreal.
“She is a true role model for women who wish to join a professional organization,” Halgerson said.
Much of what Walters does focuses on women, youth and families in the Madison community, Halgerson said. For 15 years, Walters has been a volunteer with the Domestic Violence Network, and currently she serves as a board member. She helps organize local donations for Operation Christmas Child and participates in the community Angel Tree program. She is a member of the St. Thomas Catholic Daughters, volunteers at the library and delivers Meals on Wheels.
“Her heart and hands go out to all men, women and children in need in the Madison community as she positively impacts all those who she encounters,” Halgerson said.
Walters enjoys volunteering, as it is a great way to meet people, she said. It is also a great way to learn about the community, creating an appreciation of the environment.
“I encourage people to get out and volunteer, because volunteering is knowledge,” Walters said. There are many opportunities in the Madison area, from philanthropic and civic groups to organizations such as the Lake County Museum, Prairie Village or the library, she added.
Walters will be honored at the AAUW meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Nicky’s Restaurant in Madison. The public is invited to attend; refreshments will be provided.
Previous honorees include Christie VanDeWetering, Nancy Saabe and Casualene Meyer.
Pam Cole, with Dakotans for Health, is the guest speaker. She is a former school board member and state senator from Brookings and has served as the executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party. She and her husband Mike live in Sioux Falls and have five adult children in their blended family. Her presentation is titled “Restoring Women’s Reproductive Healthcare Rights in South Dakota.”