(BLOOMINGTON) – Longtime Bloomington resident and retired music professor Mary Goetze has been named 2019 Woman of the Year, Mayor John Hamilton announced Thursday. Goetze is being recognized for her efforts to enrich the lives of the incarcerated in Monroe County and support their families.
Goetze’s award is one of several to be made during this year’s observance of Women’s History Month in Bloomington.
Royale Hair Parlor owner Bridgett DiVohl has been selected to receive the Emerging Leader Award, and the women volunteers of the Community Justice and Mediation Center (CJAM) will receive the Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award. The recipients were selected by members of the Woman of the Year Subcommittee of the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Goetze and the CJAM volunteers will be honored at the Women’s History Month luncheon, Wednesday, March 20 at the Monroe Convention Center. DiVohl will be honored at the Women’s Leadership Development event, Saturday, March 30 in Council Chambers at City Hall.
“Our community thrives because of the vision, hard work, and commitment to justice that guides leaders like Mary Goetze, Bridgett DiVohl and the volunteers at CJAM,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “I’m grateful to them and to the Commission on the Status of Women for raising awareness of their efforts to make our community — and the world — more peaceful and equitable.”
Woman of the Year award recipient Goetze founded the programs Kids with Absent Parents (KAP) and Read-to-Me, both serving children of the incarcerated. Through the Read-to-Me program, inmates at the Monroe County Correctional Center may send recordings of storybooks to their children or grandchildren. Founded in 2017, volunteer-run KAP provides social activities and support for children of inmates and their caregivers in an effort to foster empathy and eliminate stigma. Additionally, Goetze has worked with New Leaf New Life to assist ex-offenders upon release from jail, serves on the Hope for Prisoners Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Church, and has brought music and songwriting classes to women in jail.
The women volunteers of CJAM have been awarded the Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award for their work to transform lives through the power of mediation, restorative justice programming, conflict resolution education, community collaboration, and more. Last year alone, 30 female volunteer mediators and an additional 22 female volunteer interns, office support staff, and board members served 550 CJAM clients. Ranging in age from 19-81, the volunteers are being recognized for their shared “passion for living in an inclusive community that is safe, engaged, civil, and just.”
Local entrepreneur DiVohl has been honored with the Emerging Leader Award for the fair wages and benefits she provides her salon’s employees, the opportunities she creates for LGBTQ+ individuals, and the non-profit event and gallery space she provides at Royale. DiVohl has organized fundraisers for both individuals and organizations; she is a leader with Local First Bloomington and is a supporter of Bloomington PRIDE.
More information about the events planned for Women’s History Month, including the opportunity to buy tickets or reserve exhibition space at the history luncheon on March 20, is available at https://bloomington.in.gov/boards/status-of-women/womens-history-month.