The Blaine County Historical Museum in Hailey has nominated four women to its annual Heritage Court, which honors women who have contributed to shaping the history of the Wood River Valley.
Since 2004, the court has asked local organizations to suggest nominees who have lived in the valley for 30 years or more and are 70-plus years old. This year, women to be honored are:
- Dorothy Ann Outzs of Hailey was nominated by the Heritage Court Committee. Her mother and father were members of the original group who started the Blaine County Historical Museum. Outzs returned to the valley after many years in Seattle, and has served on the board of the museum since 1990. “I served as president for five years,” she said, during which time the museum’s infamous mural wall was torn down and repainted by the artist Ralph Harris, who painted the first mural.
- Vivian Bobbitt of Bellevue was named to the court by the Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Bobbitt has been an avid 4-H leader for many years and is a longtime member of the Sawtooth Rangers, who are dedicated to maintaining local riding trails, as well as supporting local families in their horse-related activities. Bobbitt said that she is most proud of her involvement with both groups: “The Sawtooth Rangers donate money for kids and horse-related activities,” Bobbitt said. “Some money is donated to the Grange house and the senior center.” But most of all, Bobbitt loves the friendships that both groups offer: “It’s camaraderie on horseback,” she said, laughing. “We eat a lot, too; there are lots of great cooks in the Rangers.”
- The Animal Shelter of the Wood River valley nominated Elizabeth “Betts” Simon of Sun Valley. Betts first came to the valley in 1950 and has been a loyal supporter of the shelter, as well the Sun Valley Ski Club, the Wood River Land Trust, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Idaho Conservation League. She has lived in the valley for 64 years, and she and her husband built one of the first homes on Fairway Road in Elkhorn in the early 1970s.
- The Carey Economic Revitalization Group (CERG) nominated Joyce Edwards to the court. As well as her active membership in the Carey community—where she has been involved in local 4-H, swimming, snowmobiling and bicycling—Edwards and her husband Larry operated the Sagebrush Belgiums—awe-inspiring draft horses that valley members have seen in many parades. Four years ago, Edwards started a “fit and fall-proof” class for seniors, continuing her lifelong efforts to strengthen her community. As the CERG says of Edwards, “She has been a great ambassador for the Carey Valley.”
A special, invitation-only tea party for former and current honorees, hosted by The Community Library, will be held in early June. The ladies will be honored in a ceremony with flowers, entertainment and refreshments at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey on Sunday, June 22. The public is encouraged to attend and show support for the four women.