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Alderman LaMarche garners sorority honor

Alderman Dorothy “Dot” LaMarche has been named Beta Sigma Phi’s First Lady of Knoxville for 2004 during a ceremony held in Knoxville earlier this year.

“I was very honored to receive this award,” LaMarche said. “There are so many deserving women in West Knoxville who do just as much, if not more, than I do.”

The award was presented to LaMarche because of her devotion to community service. She joins the ranks of outstanding women chosen for their leadership abilities and commitment to helping others. LaMarche said that the voting process is based solely on the volunteerism of the candidate.

“The board does not know any of the nominee’s names, or any other information about them,” she said. “That way, the judging is unbiased. The winner’s name is kept very secret. Only a Beta Sigma Phi board member, my husband and I knew that I had won up until the night of the banquet.”

Beta Sigma Phi is an international women’s sorority that began in 1931, during the Great Depression. At that time, there was a need for an organization that could bring women together and expose them to a social, cultural and educational climate. Soon, Beta Sigma Phi members found themselves helping others while bonding together in support of each other.

Members have raised more than $3 million for local charities and donatemore than 200,000 volunteer hours in the average year. The Knoxville chapter of Beta Sigma Phi is located in the historic district of downtown Knoxville.

LaMarche was nominated by the Welcome Wagon Club of Knoxville. She said she was thrilled that this “fine group of women” thought enough of her to nominate her for this award. LaMarche, who has been a member of the Welcome Wagon Club since 1995, said that many people are not aware of all of the service that the Welcome Wagon does.

“The Welcome Wagon Club typically donates $3,000 to $5,000 to local charities each year,” she said

Irma DeBord, a Welcome Wagon Club member since 1980, said that the club unanimously nominated LaMarche for this award.

“We knew that Dot would fulfill this honor with her usual finesse,” DeBord said. “She is a highly respectable woman, a true lady in every sense of the word.”

LaMarche will be the guest of honor at an upcoming Beta Sigma Phi tea, and will attend events throughout the year in support of the sorority.

She and her husband, Lou, have lived in Farragut for 10 years. Prior to living in Tennessee, they lived in Raleigh, N.C., where LaMarche enjoyed a 35-year nursing career.

Along with her job as Alderman of Ward II in Farragut, LaMarche is the neighborhood block captain of her subdivision. Her volunteer efforts include being a counselor and an information desk volunteer for the Hope Resource Center and a pastoral-care volunteer at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

LaMarche is also a board member of Tennessee Right to Life, Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service and a member of the Knoxville Christian Women’s Club, as well as the Welcome Wagon Club of Knoxville.


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