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Two Delaware women honored with the first Great Dames Icon awards

The new awards were created for the organization's 10th anniversary.

From left: Dr. LaVerne Harmon, Anna Welsh and Bebe Coker. (Courtesy Photo)

Great Dames, the community-driven leadership organization for women in the Greater Philadelphia area, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in April with a brand-new honor: the Great Dames Icon award.

Great Dames recently announced the first three recipients, two of whom are from Delaware:

  • Dr. LaVerne Harmon, president of Wilmington University, the first African-American woman to be named the president of any college or university in the state of Delaware
  • Bebe Coker, a revered Delaware social activist who was appointed by former Delaware Gov. Pierre S. du Pont to join the Citizens Alliance for Public Education to ensuring peaceful desegregation of schools
  • Anna Welsh, the founder of Little Bags, Big Impact, a social venture based in Philadelphia that provides books to children in underserved communities

“LaVerne, Bebe and Anna truly embody what it means to be a Great Dame,” said the organization’s founder, Sharon Kelly Hake, in a press statement. “They have claimed their power and purpose and have each had a powerful impact on our communities. We are honored to recognize them for their enduring example and their exceptional work.”

Proceeds of the April 24 awards ceremony at Hockessin Memorial Hall —which will include musical guest Club Phred featuring former Grand Funk Railroad lead singer Mark Farner —will go to the Great Dames Fund, which will award a special scholarship in the name of each honored icon.

Get tickets here.

Companies: Great Dames

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