Four outstanding women from Abbotsford and Mission were recognized for their professional achievements and personal qualities on Wednesday evening at the annual Myrtle Evertt Woman of the Year Awards in Abbotsford.
Presented by the Mission Business and Professional Women’s Club, the event awarded the title of Woman of the Year to Paulette Baker and Ann Senae.
Both women received standing ovations.
Baker was bestowed the honour for the Abbotsford region. She is a nurse advisor with WorkSafeBC, has completed two overseas missionary trips, raised funds to send a terminally ill father and his family to Disneyland, and raised money to provide care and support to new immigrant families.
“It’s wonderful that we can highlight women who have stepped out to help other women and who volunteer,” said Baker.
In her speech, she also touched on why she volunteers – a question she was recently asked.
“I simply do it because I do. When I see that people need help, I just roll up my sleeves and do it.”
Senae was awarded the title for the Mission area.
Senae is a self-employed certified general accountant who has served with many non-profit groups in Mission, including the Valley Women’s Network, the Women’s Resource Society, the Hospice Society, and the Chamber of Commerce.
“This is such an honour,” she started, offering thanks to the women who nominated her.
“It’s important to have positive role models in the community for everyone … It’s odd to win an award for something I love to do. I love working with non-profit, love being with my family and watching them grow, love encouraging others to go after their goals, and I love my career.”
Senae, who is also a member of a quartet, performed a song with her group at the end of the evening.
Deborah Lehmann and Doris Woodman-McMillan were also recognized, having been nominated for the Abbotsford award.
Lehmann is the executive director of the Abbotsford Hospice Society and has a background in human resources. She also serves as a volunteer on the Abbotsford Police Board, the Abbotsford Multicultural Festival, and Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association.
Woodman-McMillan is president of Numbers Unlimited, a local bookkeeping business, and has been active with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, Operation Red Nose, the Sister City Committee and the Rotary Club.
Items for a silent auction were on display throughout the evening.
The money raised was awarded to two graduating young women in the form of bursaries. They were given to W.J. Mouat Secondary School student, Phoenix Pham, and Samantha Raniak from Hatzic Secondary School in Mission.