(St.Joseph,MO) The YWCA is celebrating their 130th birthday by recognizing women in the community. Thursday afternoon over 1,100 people gathered at the Civic Arena to celebrate women at the YWCA’s 17th annual Women of Excellence Luncheon.
The YWCA sold out the civic arena during the luncheon to provide a banquet honoring women in the community. The event also served as a fundraiser to benefit the YWCA’s domestic abuse shelter.
The YWCA surpassed their fundraising goal of $140,000 to benefit the shelter. Donations were met by a $10,000 contribution from Steve L. Craig, bringing the total donation amount to over $150,000.
Luncheon C0-Chair Pam Bowman said the event was all about recognizing the contributions of women in the community.
“We’re not recognizing enough women on a regular basis. It’s an honor and I think it’s something to work towards, especially when we start with the emerging leader, which is usually a high school student and it goes up from there. We just want to have an event that appreciates women,” Bowman said.
The Women of Excellence Luncheon awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to Sharon Kosek and Helen Washington. The Women in the Workplace Award was presented to Rev. Ernestine Blakely. The award for Women in Support Services was presented to Jessica Frogge. Diane Waddell was presented was awarded for Women in Volunteerism. Kendal Evans was presented with the Emerging Leader Award. Elizabeth Reynolds was presented the Future Leader award.
The 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard was also recognized as the 2018 Employer of Excellence.