Samaritan Center Seeks Women of Strength

Connie Steele Award Honors Generosity, Integrity, Service and Faith

Published Wednesday, January 24, 2018
by Lisa Strandberg

Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley is seeking nominees for its 2018 Connie Steele Woman of Strength Award. The award honors a woman from the Fox Cities, Heart of the Valley, New London, Oshkosh and surrounding areas who exemplifies these traits: strength of character, integrity, generosity, faith, courage, optimism, persistence and community service. (For more detail on these traits, go to strength-award/.)

The award is named for the late Connie Steele, former senior legal counsel for Thrivent Financial. Steele served on the Samaritan Center board.

Nominations will include:

  • Three letters or essays of one page or less, each written by a different nominator.
  • A description of the nominee and how she lives out the eight traits listed above.
  • The name, mailing address, e-mail address and phone number of the nominee and each nominator.

Compiled nominations may be sent to Jill Harp at or Samaritan Counseling Center, Attn: Jill Harp/Woman of Strength, 1478 Kenwood Dr., Suite 1, Menasha, WI 54952.

Nomination deadline is March 14.

Samaritan Counseling Center will present the award at the Silent Samaritan Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on May 10 at The Grand Meridian, Appleton. The luncheon culminates the Silent Samaritan Campaign, themed “Women of Strength Helping Women in Need.” The campaign supports counseling for low-income women.

Previous winners of the Connie Steele Woman of Strength Award include:

  • 2010  RoseAnn Blair, Neenah
  • 2011  Miriam Douglass, Appleton
  • 2012  Shirley Bender-Gehrt, Oshkosh
  • 2013  Dorry Wilner, Oshkosh
  • 2014  Kathy Flores, Appleton 
  • 2015  Dawn Malcom, Appleton 
  • 2016  Beth Heuer, Oshkosh
  • 2017  Tracey Robertson, Oshkosh 

Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley connects mind and spirit so individuals, families, organizations and communities thrive. Founded in 1970, the center provides professional, state- licensed psychotherapy that integrates each client’s deep values. The center also serves faith leaders and faith communities with coaching, peer groups, spiritual direction, retreat facilitation and consultation.

Samaritan Center is home to several programs aimed at mental health education and suicide prevention. Connected Community Wellness Screen serves 9 school systems providing free mental health check-ups that detect treatable mental health concerns associated with increased suicide risk. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trains people within workplaces, faith communities, civic groups, schools and communities to respond effectively to someone who may be considering suicide. Mental Health Ministry Initiative equips faith leaders to minister to mental health in their parishes and beyond.

The center has offices in Kaukauna, Menasha, New London and Oshkosh, and at UW-Fox Valley. Samaritan Counseling Center is affiliated with the Samaritan Institute, the support organization for some 75 Samaritan Centers in the U.S. and Japan.

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