OCEAN CITY — The Art League of Ocean City announced this week the recipients of the 2020 SHEro Awards, honoring Delmarva women who have shown courage in facing adversity and turned that around into something positive.
The Art League will present the awards virtually on Facebook Live on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., and the public is welcome to join in. This is the third year for the SHEro Awards.
The SHEro Awards are part of the October-long all-women art exhibition entitled “VISION” at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street. Curated by Deborah Rolig and Diane Gray of Berlin, the exhibition seeks to empower women through art, emphasizing women overcoming adversity. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibit benefits Women Supporting Women.
“The SHEro Award winners are filled with courage and tenacity,” Rolig said. “The kind of women who have overcome a major challenge in their lives — be it health, family, job, or something similar — yet have dug-in to thrive and persevere. These are the women we honor as SHEros.”
Marian Bickerstaff of Ocean Pines was nominated by Gail Philippi. She is manager of Sarah’s Pantry at the Community Church of Ocean Pines and past president of the Art League’s board of directors. Bickerstaff coordinates the collection of large amounts of food to distribute to families in need and kept the supply going throughout the pandemic. She is also an officer of the P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization, and past president of the Ocean Pines Garden Club.
Debbi Dean-Colley of Berlin was nominated by Angela Manos. She is a single mother of two who spreads love and positivity through little acts of kindness, donating her art, her time, a meal, or some other necessity. Seeing art as a vehicle for healing, she has developed healing arts programs focusing on giving back to the community.
Ilyana Kadushin of Salisbury was nominated by Mary Ellen Clark. She is an art educator and singer whose mission in life is to motivate others to build confidence and self-awareness. She created a non-profit organization called “Stories Love Music” that offers free workshops for local caregivers who work with seniors with dementia.
Jean “Bean” Keagle of Ocean City, was nominated by her mother-in-law, Claire Jefferson. Keagle is a nurse at Atlantic General Hospital and an avid advocate for women with breast cancer, a disease she herself battled. She devotes her time to serving others through charitable events and is known for her annual cookie baking events, an expression of thanks to loved ones and the community.
Nicole Morris of Berlin was nominated by her colleague, Matthew Morris, Chief Nursing Officer at Atlantic General Hospital. She is the hospital’s Infection Prevention and Employee Health Manager. She faced the challenges of COVID-19 head on and has been the mastermind of new ideas and processes, which will undoubtedly become best practices.
Kim Royster of Millville was nominated by Pamela Switzer. Royster is a personal trainer and certified life/wellness coach. A devoted wife, mother and professional woman, she has overcome the loss of a child, business and home, but has not let adversity keep her down. Her passion is fitness and helping her clients be the best they can be, connecting their soul, heart, and mind so they can make their goals a reality.