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Friess Teammate, Jenn Sparks, Receives Community Service Honor

Melissa Turley, Jenn Sparks, and Stephanie Thomas. (Courtesy Womentum)

Womentum announced Jenn Sparks as the recipient of the 2019 Turley Onward Award. The Turley Onward Award was established in 2014 to honor the inspiration and contributions of one of Womentum’s founding members, Melissa Turley. Annually, this award honors a woman in the Jackson Hole community who has showcased an exceptional commitment to using her intellectual, creative, and charitable spirit to effectuate meaningful social change for women, and is a role model for others.

Stephanie Thomas surprised Sparks with the award at Womentum’s annual community gathering and award ceremony.

“The only way I knew I could get her there was to tell her I needed her help for a Teton County Search and Rescue presentation for a group of women,” Thomas said. Sparks arrived ready to present in her TCSAR uniform and her backcountry backpack in hand. It took a few minutes before she realized she was being honored for her extraordinary contribution and leadership to the female community.

Sparks has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the community including TCSAR, GAP, Bridger Teton Avy Center, the Jackson Hole Land Trust. Most impressively, she has served as a volunteer on the Teton County Search and Rescue team for 21 years, giving up countless hours, holidays and time to serve the community at the most basic level. She has been a leader and mentor for other women interested in joining the TCSAR team (including Thomas who nominated her).

Sparks has also been a leader in the business world, running a financial firm in Jackson and continually sharing her skillset with the local nonprofit community and women interested in finances. She is humble, kind, and always there for people in need.

Also awarded this year was the Shelley Simonton Memorial Award, which was established to honor the Womentum co-founder who succumbed to cancer in 2017 at the age of 49.

“Shelly was a fantastic combination of community commitment and pure, unadulterated fun,” said Womentum Board member Caryn Flanagan. The 2019 recipient of the Simonton Memorial Award is Lexey Wauters.

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