DIXON – Life may have taken them in different directions, but the seven women honored Thursday at the YWCA of the Sauk Valley’s 28th annual Women of Achievement luncheon have at least one thing in common: All have made an impact on their community.
“We are making history – we are making women’s accomplishments visible,” YWCA Executive Director Carol Fitzgerald told the more than 200 people who packed the Post House Ballroom. “That is a very big deal.”
The event celebrated the 29 women nominated for awards, all of whom were given a certificate for their achievements.
Chelsey Gallegos, 17, a senior at Sterling High School, earned this year’s Young Woman of Tomorrow Award for her work as a tutor and mentor to younger girls. She plans to attend Illinois State University and major in elementary education.
Bonnie Kime of Dixon, executive director of the Next Picture Show Fine Arts Center in Dixon, won the Crete Dillon Bowman Award for her commitment to the local arts.
Cindy Zander of Sterling, CGH Medical Center’s director of materials management, biomed services and construction, won the Jane Reid Keefer award, for her tireless work in leading the hospital’s 66,000-square-foot expansion project.
The posthumous Spirit of Achievement Award was given to the family of Marina Salazar of Sterling, a former YWCA board president who died in 2008.
Fitzgerald called Salazar a woman of “faith, courage and commitment.”
Proceeds from Thursday’s $30-a-plate luncheon, which included raffles and a silent auction, support the YWCA domestic violence and sexual assault programs, diversity training, preschool classes, girls’ computer training and women’s career services.
The YWCA typically raises about $5,000 each year, Fitzgerald said.
The YWCA Thursday recognized seven area women for their accomplishments in six award categories:
Crete Dillon Bowman Award: Bonnie Kime of Dixon.
Jane Reid Keefer Award for Professions and Education: Cindy Zander of Sterling.
L.L. Ely Award for Clerical Excellence: Shelly Snow of Rock Falls. Snow is an administrative assistant at Lindgren, Callihan and VanOsdol in Sterling.
Pearl Woods Award for Business and Industry: Margo Myers of Sterling. Myers owns Margo Myers and Associates, an employee counseling services firm.
Louise Bittorf Sullivan Inspirational Woman Award: Jan Andersen of Sterling, an international medical volunteer, and Dian Fitzgerald of Sterling, a retired English teacher at St. Mary School in Sterling.
Young Woman of Tomorrow Award: Chelsey Gallegos of Sterling.
Spirit of Achievement Award: Marina Salazar of Sterling.
Also honored were: Colleen Brechon-Vancil, Betty Huntley, Mary Mahan-Deatherage, Marie Rombouts, Kristine VanQuathem, Deb Didier, Cathy Ferguson, Margo Jakobs, Veronica Jaramillo-Pilgrim, Janet Lynch, Gayle Wright, Carol Glenn, Christine Mitchell, Suzy Perino, Tommie Powers, Rebecca Sternweis, Janet Freed, Mary Rodriguez, Sydney Dewey, Jordyn Heppler, Kayla Jukubczak, Brittany Pipes.