(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The 19th annual Women of Excellence event looks a little different this year, but COVID-19 can't stop the YWCA from recognizing the inspiring women of St. Joseph.
“We have 43 nominees this year. These are women in our community that have done amazing things and have been recognized by their peers, employers, employees, community members for being fabulous women,” said Tammy Killin, the chief executive officer for St. Joseph YWCA.
Eight women were highlighted during the broadcasted event on KQ2, rather than at their usual venue in the Civic Center Arena.
The women were awarded for their positive impact on the community.
One of them being Eileen Dyer, the 2020 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award for volunteerism.
“Of course, very humbling. There’s so many wonderful volunteer women whose shoulders’ I stand on who’ve come before me,” said Eileen Dyer, award recipient.
After 46 years of serving St. Joseph's art, education and medical community, Dyer has spent her entire life giving back.
She has more than a page full of committees she's contributed to over her lifetime.
Dyer currently sits on nine committees and boards in St. Joseph. She said her hope is to inspire young women.
“Often I share with them what I’m doing in the community because I think it’s important for them to see me as a participant and to open up these ideas to them as well as to young people,”said Dyer.
This year's Women of Excellence theme is "It Starts with Us."
A powerful message during the current climate that members hope lights a fire in young women to contribute to change.
“Our young women need to do that. They’re smart, they’re energetic and they’re full of good ideas and resources,” said Dyer.
Women of Excellence is also the YWCA's largest fundraising event of the year, which officers hopes gets even bigger with the donation match of entrepreneur Steve Craig.
“We have to raise $30,000 today in order to get his $30,000 so it can make us $60,000. It’s a pretty big deal, so it’s exciting already,” said Killin.
With watch parties all over the city, those nominated women inspiring change in St. Joseph are getting the recognition they deserve.
The Women of Excellence will be broadcasted on KQ2 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.