Ann-Eve Johnson Award

The Ann-Eve Johnson Award was initiated in 1981 to recognize a Sustaining member who has made significant contributions to the community as a volunteer. This prestigious award is named after a woman who was President of the Junior League in 1939-1940. Ann-Eve was always active in the community and some of her contributions included Tucson Children’s Theatre, Planned Parenthood,Temple of Music and Art, Tucson Historical Society, and St. Luke’s Home. During the 1950’s, Ann-Eve, along with Helen Murphey and Jane Vancovich, became involved in efforts to save important Tucson landmarks. One story tells the three of them lying down in the street in front of bulldozers to save the Fremont House – which still stands today as a museum for people to see. While most recipients don’t stand in front of bulldozers, these women have followed Ann-Eve’s example of volunteerism.

Betty Jo Castelan Drachman was the 2017 recipient of the Ann-Eve Johnson Award.

A native Tucsonan, Betty Jo graduated from Tucson High School and attended both Columbia University and The University of Arizona, where she was a member of Delta Gamma. Upon returning to Tucson in 1953, Betty Jo received an invitation to become a provisional of the Junior League, which started her long career of volunteerism in our community.

Betty Jo has shared her talents with the Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson Festival Society, Catalina Neighborhood Association, Delta Gamma Alumni group, Saints Peter and Paul Church Board, and the Palos Verdes Garden Club. She was president of the Junior League of Tucson from March 1968 to March, 1969, and Chair of the Silver & Turquoise Ball in May, 1969. Betty Jo was very involved with St. Luke’s Home, and chaired the Baile in the early 1970’s. She also served as president of PEO in 1986-1987. Of note, Betty Jo was a member of the Tucson Symphony Cotillion Board for 32 years.

Betty Jo is cherished as a very loyal and valued advisor to these many organizations. She is considered an outstanding historian and “keeper-of-the-culture,” and is dearly loved for her steadfast championing of groups important to Tucson and Southern Arizona.

When told of Betty Jo’s award, Janna-Neen Johnson Cunningham Jones (daughter of Ann-Eve Johnson) stated, “Ann-Eve would have been absolutely thrilled and pleased at this news. I cannot think of a better representation of the meaning of this award.”

Previous Award Winners:

2017-18   Natalie Ireland

2016-17   Betty Jo Castelan Drachman

2015-16   Betsy Bolding
2014-15   Melinda Burke
2013-14   Carla Keegan
2012-13   Eleanore “Fuzzy” Adelman
2011-12   Lynne Dusenberry
2010-11   Jennifer Casteix
2009-10   Kristin Almquist
2008-09   Linda Lohse
2007-08   Charlotte Harris
2006-07   Barbara Peck
2005-06   DeeAnn Sakrison
2004-05   Dawn Cole
2003-04   Laura Sundt Eberly
2002-03   Frances Sundt
2001-02   Mary Kay Dinsmore
2000-01   Marilyn “Corkey” Ronstadt
1999-00   Brenda Viner
1998-99   Patricia Crowley*
1997-98   Brenda Even
1996-97   Dee O’Neill
1995-96   Nancy Kinerk
1994-95   Freddy Hershberger
1993-94   Edith Auslander
1992-93   Sally Drachman
1991-92   Elizabeth Alexander Ogilvy
1990-91   Louise Thomas
1989-90   Virginia Dahlberg*
1988-89   Natalie Davis
1987-88   Ann Boice
1986-87   Melinda Carrell
1985-86   Connie McConnell*
1984-85   Mary Margaret Raymond
1983-84   Laura Almquist
1982-83   Betty Ochoa
1981-82   Mary Foster
1980-81   Lydia Paulsen