This evening community members within the Westman Region will be gathering at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium to recognize thirty-nine women who are leaders, mentors, passionate advocators for their organizations and communities.  Ten will be acknowledged as this year's winners of the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards in Westman, one for each of the 10 categories.

The annual event is hosted by the Westman YWCA, this being their most significant fundraiser of the year.

"Acknowledging the strong women that we have in our communities helps to highlight to everyone, young women included, that when they see themselves in a leadership role or in a space where they're being recognized, it just means down the road that more young women are inspired to participate and be involved in it," shares YWCA Westman Executive Director Lois Ruston.

With 39 nominees, Ruston says the selection committee has had their work cut out for them to bring it down to ten. 

"All are just fantastic women in the ten different categories, all of whom were completely deserving within their own work and their own communities, so it was no small feat to come out with the award recipients this year," she says.

Being close to 40 nominees really speaks to the appreciation each of these communities have for their women in leadership, when it comes to community programs and events, volunteering countless hours, and their dedication.

"And we have women from all over southwestern Manitoba," says Ruston. "So, many communities are represented in our nominees this year.  I think this speaks to the fact that women are doing not only great and exciting things but also sometimes a little bit quieter and behind the scenes in their supportive role.  All levels of involvement and support are required."

"So, that's why Women of Distinction is such a fantastic even," she adds. "It recognizes not only those who are out in the forefront, but a lot of times those who are working hard behind the scenes as well. Everyone is equally important."

Funds raised supports the Westman Women's Shelter and programs and initiatives with the Westman YWCA.

Please listen to more with Lois Ruston below!

This year's 2024 Women of Distinction Nominees are below!