Women of Excellence Event Brings Record-Breaking Crowd, Donations

Published 06/21 2013 10:21AM

Updated 06/21 2013 10:45AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The YWCA celebrated women of excellence during its annual luncheon Thursday.

It was a special event this year as the organzation also celebrated its 125th anniversary.

More than 1,000 women and men filled downtown St. Joseph's Civic Arena for the Women of Excellence lunchoeon. The event recognizes women in the workforce, volunteerism and even future leaders of the community.

The St. Joseph School District's outgoing superintendent, Dr. Melody Smith, won the award for Woman in the Workplace.

"The kind of energy that was in the room today, I think we were celebrating more than just excellence," she said. "I think we were celebrating everything this community does for each other."

Other winners include:

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Karen Graves and Carlene Makawski

Employer of Excellence: St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity

Woman in Support Services: Nancy Joe, Commerce Bank

Woman in Volunteerism: Loes Hedge

Emerging Leader: Kappy Hodges

Future Leader: Brooke Ward, Lafayette High School

As part of the YWCA's birthday celebration, the organization also surprised the other future leader nominees with a scholarship as well.

The event generated more than $34,000, but matching funds took the total to $70,000.

Aside from a record number for fundraising, the Women of Excellence event brought a record attendance this year and the largest number of women recognized.

EXTRA: Click here to see birthday greetings for the YWCA from community leaders.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.