Semmens receives coveted Jenny Award

ESCANABA – Petey Semmens was recently presented with the Jenny Award for 2013 by the GFWC Michigan. The award was given to Semmens for her lifetime of personal excellence.

Semmens returned to Michigan in 1979 and joined the GFWC Escanaba Women’s Club. She accepted the role of club president in 1984 and has served on many committees and was most active in the Conservation Department. She initiated several tree-planting programs in the local park and schools, and worked on flower plantings along the highway.

She served as district president, local chairman for two state conventions, and frequently has been a workshop leader at the state conventions. Semmens served as GFWC MI Community Improvement chair for two administrations and two terms as president of the GFWC Michigan Education Foundation. Her club has honored her with awards as Ms. Federation and Women of Achievement.

The Jenny Award is named in honor of GFWC’s founder, Jane Cunningham Croley, who wrote for the national newspapers under the pseudonym, “Jennie Jane.” The award highlights extraordinary club women who epitomize the spirit of independence, courage, and persistent purpose through her roles as a volunteer within the club, community and family.

The Jenny Award is the only national honor that recognizes individual members for personal excellence.

During World War II, Semmens served in the Ground Observer corp and USO. For the past 30 years, she has been involved in the Bonifas Art Center, volunteering and leading tours.

She has participated in the Bay de Noc Choral Society for over 30 years as a soloist, and has been active in her church.

Semmens began playing tennis 34 years ago and still continues to play. She is currently serving as District Parliamentarian and GFWC MI Public Issues chairman.

Family is extremely important to Semmens. She has four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, George, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005 and she now serves as his caregiver as well as his wife.

She has been a role-model for many women, demonstrating how to stay active and alive as they age. Her life has influenced all those around her.

“We are so proud of Petey and honored she is one of our GFWC Michigan sisters,” said GFWC president, Dianne Lahtinen. “Congratulations go to her for living her life to the fullest by volunteering and making a difference in the lives of others. We adore her and she has a very special place in our hearts.”