March 25, 2023, SBW 100-Year Anniversary Celebration

Hazel Palmer (Becky Imhauser), Business Women of MO & Sedalia Business Women in attendance at the 100 Year Celebration. Photo Credit Yves Exilus

The Business Women of Missouri Prayer Breakfast held a prayer breakfast Saturday, March 25, 9:30am, at the Fox Theater-104 E 5th St, Sedalia. Pastor Ann Kyle provided an interesting program about women’s role in church leadership.

The SBW 100-year anniversary celebration and Hazel Palmer portrait dedication was held Saturday, March 25, 10:30am, in the lobby of the Pettis County Courthouse. A sizable crowd attended the event at the courthouse.

Becky Imhauser as Hazel Palmer, photo credit Dianne Simon

Pettis County Historian, Becky Imhauser, portrayed Hazel Palmer to tell her life story. The chair on display during the event once sat in Hazel’s office.

Representative Brad Pollitt presented President Robin Balke with a House Resolution applauding the history, goals, and accomplishments of Sedalia Business Women and conveyed the legislative body’s most heartfelt best wishes as we celebrated our One Hundredth Anniversary.

Mayor Andrew Dawson presented SBW with a proclamation in honor of the 100-year Anniversary of the Club.

President Robin Balke and Committee Chair Dianne Simon unveiled the portrait of Hazel Palmer, a former BPW local president, state president, and national president. The 40×30 oil painting on masonite in a Louis XV-style parcel gilt and antique white painted frame, is based on a campaign photo of Ms. Palmer taken in 1958. Once completed, it hung in the headquarters of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women in Washington, D.C., before NFBPW gifted the painting to Pettis County in April-1991, in honor of Hazel’s esteemed career and accomplishments as a female trailblazer.

Hazel Palmer 1903-2002

At the time the portrait was gifted to Pettis County, Hazel was 88 years old and resided at the Kensington-Bothwell, which was a senior living facility at that time. When Hazel died in May-2002 at the age of 98, her portrait had hung in the courthouse for several years until it was moved to the Pettis County Historical Society & Museum in the mid-2000s, along with artifacts from the courthouse lobby. The portrait was on display at the museum until returning to the courthouse Saturday, March 25, 2003.

Members of the Sedalia Business Women and the Business Women of Missouri were acknowledged. Missouri Senator Sandy Crawford, Representative Brad Pollitt, Pettis County Commissioners Israel Baeza, and Jim Marcum, Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson, and Sedalia Councilmen Tom Oldham and Chris Marshall, were in attendance, as well as current and previous judges and attorneys.

A light lunch was served at the Fox Theater following the courthouse program. Pastor Candice Fowler of First United Methodist Church sang an inspiring rendition of the Lord’s Prayer.

Pastor Candace Fowler
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