Five women who have worked to grow YW Calgary and support local women and children were honored Friday with Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals.
The women were chosen for the award because of their exceptional leadership and dedication to helping the city’s women and children on the YW board over the past decade, said the organization’s CEO, Sue Tomney.
Alberta’s Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani presented the medals together with board chairman Sharon Carry and Tomney to Rebecca Morley, Lara Murphy, Kate Thompson, Georgine Ulmer and Lori Van Rooijen.
“Each of them brought out the best of their skills and expertise at a specific time and were such an asset to where the YW was at that moment. To look back on it and think about how fortunate we were to have it is phenomenal,” Tomney said.
She said the councilors have done some heavy lifting during a unique time for the city; through a recession, the downturn in 2015, sale of YW land to find new land for a new building, and the pandemic.
“They never expected it and it’s the best opportunity ever to award something to someone who hasn’t done it for awards. These women didn’t do it for the accolades, they did it because they care about the organization and, more importantly, they care about the women and children we serve,” Tomney said.
The YW Calgary is committed to improving the lives of women and children in the community. The organization continues to see high demand as families struggle with the rising cost of living and the rise of mental health issues.
“It’s special to us because our organization relies on volunteers, it’s the core of who we are,” Tomney said. “Our board members are some of our hardest working volunteers. They do it out of love and passion.”
The awards were presented at the YW’s hub in Inglewood with other community leaders and YW volunteers in attendance, and Global Calgary traffic anchor Leslie Horton as emcee.
The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal was created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne and honors her lifetime of service to Canada and those whose leadership and service have also been exemplary. The queen died on September 8 after reigning for 70 years.