Region 13's Heart of the Northwest Award was created to honor a member who exemplifies all that is a Sweet Adeline; believes in the importance of her personal marketing responsibility to present her chorus, the region, and SAI in the best positive way to the general public; serves her chorus and the region to the best of her ability for the love of the organization; shows keen interest in Sweet Adelines and actively participates in both her chorus and regional activities and functions; generously donates her time and skills to her chorus and the region; is a great ambassador for Sweet Adelines and has a positive influence on her chorus and the organization; displays enthusiasm and commitment to promoting the Harmonize the World theme of SAI and Region 13 through her music and interpersonal skills; willingly shares skills and knowledge with other members; and, willing works without expectations of recognition.
Sounds like a tough order to fill, right? But the women who have won the award to date are all that and more! Just see for yourself.
2016: Sally Wallace
2016 Heart of the Northwest recipient, Sally Wallace, joined the Silver Valley Chorus in 1973, which means she has been a member of Sweet Adelines for 43 years! In 1975, Silver Valley was looking for a director when Sally raised her hand and volunteered...if they would support her as she learned. They agreed and she started learning! Sally directed Silver Valley Chorus for ten years until she and her husband moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID.
In March, 1985, Sally founded the Coeur d’Alene Chorus. They chartered in July, 1986, and she directed the chorus for a total of 25 years, including two years as a co-director with Melodie Hays. At the present time, Sally serves as an “In-House Coach” for the chorus and sings with them on the risers each week.
She was elected to the Region 13 Board of Directors in 1984 and served as Secretary for two years; Regent for two years; and, Director of Musical Activities for six years. In 2011, Sally was appointed as the Communications Coordinator for the Regional Management Team, and in 2012 was appointed as Team Coordinator, a position she held until April 30, 2016.
Sally has served on a lot of committees and has been--and continues to be--a member of the Region 13 faculty for many years. In 1993, she chaired the International Education Event that was held in Tulsa, OK for Regents, DMAs and MDRs; from 1994-2000 she served on the International Board of Directors and also served on a number of International committees including Finance, By-Laws and Rules, and Editorial Review Board. Sally contributed to the “Members Count” Handbook, and compiled a manual called “On With The Show,” which dealt with show production. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Young Singers Foundation, including two years as President, and was a Certified International Faculty Member for ten years.
Her chorus members speak of Sally as being, "gentle, yet firm. She is loving and supportive of every other Sweet Adeline Chorus and member. She shares her knowledge and experience willingly. If there is a touchy situation, Sally is the one to handle it. Her heart is full of Sweet Adelines, and specifically Region 13."
We are pleased to honor Sally Wallace as our 2016 Heart of the Northwest recipient.
2015: Melanie Wroe
Melanie Wroe (1950-2014) received the first-ever North by Northwest Region 13 Heart of the Northwest Award posthumously. She was a woman who exemplified the best in Sweet Adelines: member, friend, coach, judge, mentor, and someone who always had a smile for each of us.
Melanie’s mother, Elizabeth, was a regional champion Sweet Adeline who instilled her love of harmony into all of her children as they were growing up in Fargo, North Dakota.
After completing her undergraduate degree in philosophy, Melanie went on to the University of Washington where she earned a master’s degree in nursing. The bulk of her professional career was spent as a nursing educator, and she eventually become the Director of Nursing Education at Highline Community College. That teaching ability shone through as she began her involvement with Sweet Adelines.
Melanie joined Lakeside Chorus after retiring from nursing to raise her two sons. Over the years she would lend her beautiful bass voice to Pacific Sound, City of Lakes in Region 6 (so she could sing with her sister, Jan) and LionsGate from Region 26. She was also a two-time Region 13 quartet champion with Simpatico (1997) and Seattle Mix (2006). Song of Seattle Chorus and its mission to be a performance-focused, rather than competition, group, was Melanie’s brainchild and her dream.
Melanie was a certified Showmanship Judge and was an accomplished choreographer, emcee and script writer. She was a sought-after educator and coach throughout the organization and one who brought light and life to all that she touched. We miss her.
“If compassion is put more in the hearts, minds and intents of people, it will occur more.”- Melanie Wroe