Brandon Mayor Jeff Fawcett congratulated the 39 nominees at this year's Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony that took place this past Wednesday evening at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium in Brandon.  In addition, Mayor Fawcett encouraged the audience to be inspired by the works of the nominees to be leaders in their own communities.

"The fact that there is a regular event all the time, we have some strong women all through Westman and it is great to have them recognized," says Mayor Fawcett "I'm fortunate to know a lot of them. I have a lot of respect for them, and we do a lot of work together."

"And it's all ages, from all over, from different areas," he adds. "It's wonderful.  As a community of course we benefit a great deal from that."

Money raised each year goes towards the YWCA Westman that provides safety, support, and empowerment to individuals marginalized by gender, particularly those facing intimate partner, domestic, and family violence within the Westman Region. The Westman Women's Shelter provides safe shelter, free services and resources for those seeking refuge from these challenges.

Mayor Fawcett recognized YWCA Executive Director Lois Ruston for her and her team's efforts supporting those in family violence, as well as hosting another wonderful YWCA Women of Distinction Awards in Brandon.

"The YWCA plays a significant role in our community and Lois has been doing a great job with it and her team," says Fawcett. "I did tour the facility the other day and I know they've got a lot of work going forward, and that's a good thing for our community. They have big plans that can help a lot of people.  They're a major part of our community."

The century-old building YWCA Meredith Women's Shelter has been deconstructed and plans are being developed to build a new shelter at the same location in downtown Brandon.  Those plans will hopefully be in place by the end of this year.

Mayor Fawcett's final thoughts on this beautiful celebration of honoring the women leaders in our many communities and organizations, "I'm always grateful to be at any event that I get to go to, and ones like this are just top-notch because anytime you're around really good people it inspires you to be better yourself."