Twelve local women recognized for community caring and commitment
By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly
It would have been an afternoon of tea, heartwarming philanthropy, and an opportunity to bring the community together to honour 12 inspirational local women. But due to last month’s wildfire, the 4th annual Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s Women of Inspiration celebration has been postponed until further notice.
“We will be rescheduling the Women of Inspiration, but don’t have a date set yet,” said Girls Inc. Executive Director Ann Dort-MacLean. “We want as many people as possible to be back home and to give them time to settle in.
Each year, the social profit organization selects nominated women who make the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo a great place to live, work and raise families. The Series purpose is to honour the women who have contributed countless efforts to the region. The nominations are announced one-by-one, each month, during the calendar year from June to May, as the Women of Inspiration celebration traditionally takes place in June.
The 12 women of the 2015-2016 series’ include (in order of announcement): Vicki Dawe – June 2015, Sheila Chutskoff – July 2015, Frances Jean – August 2015, Carna MacEachern – September 2015, Elena Gould – October 2015, Carla Young – November 2015, Melody Lepine – December 2015, Heather Roberts – January 2016, Krista Balsom – February 2016, Samra Ilyas – March 2016, Valerie Parks – April 2016, and Linda McKenna – May 2016.
“The collective group of women represent the best in all of us,” said Dort-MacLean of the 12 selected nominees. “They are caring, giving and demonstrate by-example how to make a positive impact on others. It is especially important to recognize the inspirational women in our community because they need to be acknowledged, others need to see and understand that inspiration is all around us. You can make a difference by caring, by volunteering, by being connected to your community.”
Dort-MacLean further explained how the recent wildfire has been able to exemplify the generosity in people within the community, and out.
“Adversity can bring out the best in us. We especially want our girls to see the opportunities to look beyond themselves and to reach out,” she said.
On May 30, the organization announced they are designating one of the three Women of Inspiration scholarships to one of the first announced Women of Inspiration – the late-Barb Jewers. The three scholarships grant $5,000 to young women within the RWMB.
Girls Inc. will be also offering summer programs for girls aged 8 to 14. Interested residents can register online.
For more updates, and to view the profiles of the 12 local residents of the 2015-2016 Women of Inspiration series, visit the Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s website at www.girlsincofnorthernalberta.org.