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The 1999 Hilltop Women of Character Winners

Three Westside Columbus, Ohio women were chosen as the 1999 Women of Character. The annual event is sponsored by the Greater Hilltop Community Development Corporation and the Westside Messenger Newspaper. The finalist were: Betty Bricker, Evelyn Conley, Helen McDaniel, Ruth Manigoe, Jane Martin, Susan Parsons and Barbara Wood Salyers, all west side residents involved in school, church and community activities.

The featured speaker at this years event was Kathryn Sullivan, President of COSI and former astronaut. She said referring to the nominees: "I'm terribly impressed by the accomplishments... All that any of us ever alone have, is the start of a good idea. Hard work is what turn dreams into concrete. That is the testimony to character."

In honoring the six finalists State Representative Priscilla Mead offered thisrecognition; "In all your endeavors, you have given generously of your time, energy and abilities to better the world around you."

The annual event was held at the new Department of Safety building on West Broad Street. The parking facilities, large auditorium and in-house catering service offer opportunities for expansion of the program. For many West siders' it is a unique opportunity to see the State Facilities including the new public art plaza, featuring Hilltop Historical artifacts. This newly installed public art has seating with has a great view of the downtown Columbus skyline.

The 2000 event, scheduled for 2pm on Nov. 4th will be the 10th anniversary of the program. All former nominees, winners and honorary recipients are urged to attend.

The 1999 winners are:

Barbara Wood Salyers, who has served as pastor of the Burgess Avenue United Methodist Church for the past 10 years. Through her efforts the church has sponsored a kid's Club and evening tutoring for children. She is currently serving as president of the Hilltop Ministerial Association. She has also participated in all of the Hilltop Community Theater productions and served on the Boy Scout Roundtable staff.

Helen McDaniel, chair of the Hilltop Senior Housing Committee and has guided that project to a success. An active member of the St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, she received the highest ever given to a lay-person, "Pro Ecclessia et Pontiff," by Pope John Paul.

Betty Bricker is know for her preservation of park land on the on the Hilltop. Big Run and Westgate Parks are among her most recent efforts. A supporter of the greater Hilltop Area Commission, she implemented the 90-gallon trash can pilot project in the Westgate. She was also at the center of efforts to save St. John Lutheran Church from demolition. Too ill to attend the awards ceremony she died weeks after this well deserved honor. The West Side will miss this diligent Woman of Character.

To nominate candidates watch The Messenger in early fall when they post nominating forms. Or simply write a letter to the Greater Hilltop Community Development Corporation, stating the accomplishments of the individual. This letter should include any activities that reflect the nominee's community spirit. The nominee must reside on the West Side, exceptions can be made for those who's good works are on the Hilltop.