YWCA announces Distinction award nominees

A total of 20 women from throughout Western Manitoba have been nominated for YWCA Brandon Women of Distinction Awards set to take place May 2.

YWCA Brandon has received a significant increase in nominees for its 32nd Annual Women of Distinction Awards, nearly doubling the amount of potential honorees from previous events.

This year’s awards, scheduled to take place at the Keystone Centre’s MNP Hall on May 2, has a total of 20 women nominated for excellence in 10 categories. This includes a new division for girls aged 10 to 15 years old called “Junior Youth.” All of the awards recognize the individual efforts of women contributing to their communities through voluntarism, charity, substantial accomplishments and other good deeds.

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“Women are amazing and deserve to be recognized for everything they do to make their community better,” said Lissia Lalonde, YWCA Brandon’s administrative and fundraising assistant. “They are working day in and day out to make change, not only in the lives of their families, but everyone around them. They need to know we see their effort.”

While 14 of the 2019 nominees live in Brandon, the six others live throughout the Westman and Parkland regions of the province. The other communities represented include Justice, MacDonald, Carberry, MacGregor, Shoal Lake and Austin.

Lalonde said a substantial social media and advertising campaign seems to have boosted publicity for the Women of Distinction Awards, leading to an increased number of nominees. The organization generally receives about 10 nominees, then has to work to find more.

Not this year.

“We were able to create more awareness for the nomination campaign and having the event at a different time of year has also had a huge impact,” she said.

“The awards always used to be held in February when it first started, then it switched to March. Now, for the first year, we are holding it in May. I think that’s what really made a difference for us because there are so many events that occur in the month of March and in January, it’s right after Christmas and people are still dealing with that. So we thought it would be a good idea to move it more towards spring.”

The 2019 YWCA Brandon Women of Distinction Awards and Dinner Gala – which generally attracts between 250 and 350 attendees – is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 2. Tickets are being sold until noon on April 28, unless there is a sell-out.

Tickets are available through the YWCA by visiting them at 148 11th Street, calling (204) 571-3680 or by sending an email to ywcaadmin@wcgwave.ca.

This year’s roster of nominees include Brandon’s Ngaire Abernethy, Mona Cornock, Lorna Cowan, Hillary Derewianchuk, Trish Fjeldsted, Carly Gasparini, Crystal Jensen, Chantel Lim, Jennifer Ludwig, Rhonda Pardy, Lisa Ramsay, Deanna Rexe, Stephanie Sansom and Cathy Snelgrove alongside Kathy Cleaver of Justice, Man.; Sandi Knight of MacDonald, Man.; Camryn McMillan of Carberry, Man.; Doreen Moellenbeck-Dushnitsky of MacGregor, Man.; Linda Newton of Shoal Lake, Man.; and Dr. Marie North of Austin, Man.

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