Club Skirts Mariah Hanson Wins Athena Leadership Award

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Dec 4, 2013

On Dec. 5, the Palm Springs Camber of Commerce and the City of Palm Springs will honor Club Skirts Dinah Shore founder Mariah Hanson with the Athena Leadership Award for her contributions to the community.

"I'm humbled to have been considered for this award and especially to be in such stellar company of women. I could not be more honored," said Hanson.

Hanson's visionary leadership as the founder of one of the city's largest tourism boosters, the world famous and hugely successful Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, also known as "The Dinah," makes her an ideal choice to receive this award, which is presented to exemplary community leaders who are honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.. Hanson's incredible accomplishment with The Dinah has for the past 24 years not only continuously been promoting the Palm Springs destination but has also created a viable platform for the advancement of the LGBT community.

As the largest and biggest lesbian event in the world, the Dinah offers a life-changing experience for myriads of women who come from all over the world to enjoy the freedom to be who they truly are without fearing the judgment, discrimination and prejudice of others. With The Dinah, Hanson provides a haven where acceptance and tolerance, in its deepest values, rule.

"Palm Springs has been home to the Original Dinah Shore Weekend for the past 24 years and I couldn't have chosen a better host city to produce the largest lesbian event in the world," said Hanson. "It's an amazing LGBT supportive city and this recognition shows just how truly hip and inclusive Palm Springs is. I look forward to The Dinah being here for another 24 years!"

The 27th Annual Athena Awards will be hosted by Mayor Steve Pougnetand CBS Local 2’s Brooke Beare on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Renaissance Palm Springs. It is one of the most prestigious events of the Coachella Valley season.

Presented annually by chambers of commerce around the nation, the Athena award is a distinguished honor that pays tribute to women who demonstrate excellence and creativity in their business or in the community at large.

In addition, they actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential, according to Palm Springs Chamber CEO Nona Watson, who notes this year’s group of honorees are "truly spectacular women leaders making a difference in the Coachella Valley."

Other 2013 honorees are Helene Galen, who will be awarded the "Community Icon" Award and Carol Channing, recipient of the "Jackie Lee Houston Angel Award."

"Helene Galen, Carol Channing and Mariah Hanson truly exemplify the highest level of achievement when it comes to excellence in community leadership and all three of these amazing ladies serve as tremendous role models for future generations of women leaders," said Mayor Pougnet. "I want to thank them for their outstanding contributions to Palm Springs and I encourage everyone in the Coachella Valley to join the Palm Springs Chamber on Dec. 5 as we celebrate these three remarkable women."

The 27th Annual Athena Award will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Renaissance Palm Springs, 888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. For information, call 760-325-1577 or visit

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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