The 2016 Pharmasave airdrielife Amazing Airdrie Women Awards were presented to five deserving recipients at a sold out luncheon at Woodside Golf Course May 6.
The 2016 Pharmasave airdrielife Amazing Airdrie Women Awards were presented to five deserving recipients at a sold out luncheon at Woodside Golf Course May 6. For the past six years, this annual event has been an opportunity for organizer Sherry Shaw-Froggatt to “ tell the stories” of some of the strongest, most hard-working women in the community.
“ This is a chance for someone to say to a woman they work with or live with or whatever, to say you are amazing and what you do touches me,” Shaw-Froggatt said. “ It's about giving someone a very public hug to say they deserve to be recognized for what they do.”
This year's Hassett and Reid Amazing Determination Award was presented to Sylvia Schultz, former owner of Jet Wash Auto Spa in Airdrie. Despite losing her mother in a car accident a few years ago, Schultz has taken inspiration from her mother's memory to launch her successful business.
“ If you would have told me five years ago I'd ever win something like this, I would have laughed,” she said. “ It's so heartwarming to be here – there are so many strong women in this community. It's such an honor to be able to meet and talk to them.”
Michelle Bates was the recipient of the 2016 Pharmasave Amazing Heart Award. Since the loss of her son in 2009, Bates founded the Airdrie Health Foundation, an organization that raises funds to promote and support healthcare in Airdrie, pushing for adequate, around-the-clock healthcare.
“ It's very humbling, because we started this out of a tragedy,” Bates said. “ But it's amazing to see people appreciate what you're doing, and it's especially amazing for my daughters to come here and see that we're not the only story – everyone has something, and you can turn that into something amazing.”
The 2016 McKee Amazing Leadership Award was received by Leona Esau, intergovernmental liason with the City of Airdrie who spearheaded Airdrie's SMARTstart program. This training program provides real-world business skills for new or potential entrepreneurs, offering lessons and mentorship to help individuals launch a successful business.
“ There's so much good in this community, so many amazing women that are a part of it. I wish there was more we could do to recognize them,” Esau said. “ These awards really showcase exactly what is so great about this community that we live in.”
Bert Church High School senior Miranda Schmidt was the recipient of this year's AWBA Amazing Promise award. Since she started playing piano at the age of four, Schmidt's passion for music has only grown. This award-winning pianist is also a committed volunteer who plans to pursue a career in medicine.
“ I feel so honored to receive this award,” she said. “ There are so many amazing women in this city who do such incredible things, and it's so empowering to come to an event like this to celebrate that and encourage other women to do the same.”
This year's Pureform Amazing Courage Award was presented to Christina Sackett Toews, an Airdrie mother who works hard to make a difference for struggling youths and their families after the loss of her son several years ago – shortly after Sackett Toews was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“ I've had a lot of support from this community, from my family and friends, but I'm not someone to want attention,” she said. “ It's amazing to be recognized and to be included in such an incredible group of women – where everyone is there for everyone else, encouraging each other.”
Nominations for the 2017 Amazing Airdrie Women Awards will open in June at airdrielife.com