The 11th annual Women of Excellence Awards saw hundreds come out to recognize 13 of Red Deer’s outstanding women.
With 51 women crossing the stage as nominees in 11 different categories, it was a record year for the number of nominees.
“It’s very important to recognize the exemplary women in our region in community building and in philanthropy,” said Kristine Bugayong, chief executive officer for the Red Deer & District Community Foundation.
“Every year it’s the same experience. I always say to people it’s the women I want to be when I grow up. They’re amazing,” she said.
This year it was Lynne Mulder who was this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner for her involvement in the community.
“This is an amazing recognition for me to get at this point in my life,” said Mulder.
“I’ve had an absolutely awesome career, it’s been a terrific ride. I’ve had more jobs than most people have in a lifetime.”
Mulder was also nominated in the Community Building Category and said the proudest title she’s ever had is being a community builder.
“I’ve spent my life trying to make a difference in the community and making it stronger.”
She added that the most joy she’s had is when she’s helped a patient or a student reach new heights.
The former City councillor is keeping very busy these days on a number of boards including the Vantage Community Services Board, Central Alberta Legal Foundation Board, Volunteer Central, the Canadian Mental Health Association and more.
This year’s Young Woman of Excellence Award went to both Jaycee Bourke and Ireland Murray.
“None of us nominees are here today because we needed this recognition, we’re here because we did what we do and we are here because we love what we’re doing. I know personally I don’t always notice the impact that I have on people around me and I’m doing just what comes natural to me and what I love to do,” said Bourke.
Murray’s father spoke on her behalf as she was unable to attend because she was in South Africa doing volunteer work.
She said, “To receive this award is beyond anything I’ve imagined for myself. All the things I’ve done, none of it has been for the recognition because I’ve always been taught to treat others how you want to be treated and that one person can help change the world by making it a better place.”
The other winners this year included Agriculture – Leona Staples; Arts and Culture – Louise Stuppard; Athletics, Recreation and Fitness – Brandi Heather; Business and the Professions – Barbara King; Community Building – Christine Moore; Education and Training – Wanda Christensen; Entrepreneurship – Denise Gagne; Environment – Bridget Allen; Health and Wellness – Maureen Gustafson and Human Services – Karen Simon.