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Mary Wright named Port Cities Woman of the Year

Mary M. Wright (left), the 2014 Port Cities Woman of the Year, is congratulated by 2013 Woman of the Year Diane Kettelhut on Wednesday during the annual Port Cities Luncheon at the Duluth Radisson Hotel. (Steve Kuchera /

Mary Wright was named the 2014 Port Cities Woman of the Year at the 66th annual Port Cities Advisory Board luncheon Wednesday at the Radisson Hotel.

The award acknowledges volunteers in the community. Wright, nominated by the St. Luke’s Volunteer Guild, has organized and played music at events for the hospital for 35 years. She’s also been a member of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra for 50 years and has donated cello and piano lessons for charity fundraisers. She has played music across the region. She has also volunteered for AARP, Ruby’s Pantry, Salvation Army and First United Methodist Church.

More than 100 people attended the luncheon. Six women were nominated: Wright, Nancy Minihan, Nancy Odden, Judy Rogers, Rita Rosenberger and Lou Anne Siefert.

Riki McManus, director of the Upper Midwest Film Office was the guest speaker at the luncheon. Eight students from area schools were also recognized for their volunteer work: Ashley Anderson, Mariah Berner, Bailee Coughlin, Meggan Goldberg, Lydia Hardesty, Olivia Johansen, Lauren Johnson and Patty Salls.

The annual luncheon began in 1929 as part of the Duluth Day Celebration and was changed to Port Cities Luncheon in 1983 to include people from across the region. Volunteers of the year have been named since 1948. The 2013 winner, Diane Kettelhut, presented Wright with this year’s award.