Central Alberta women to be honoured

Three Central Alberta women will be receiving awards for their services within volunteer organizations, their leadership skills and their dedication to improving their communities.

Zainab Mohamoud, Anna Duda and Kelsey Olsen have been chosen as the recipients of the Ruby Award: Women Helping Women, the Live Your Dream Award and the Violet Richardson Award, respectively.

They will receive their awards at the ‘Live Your Dream’ International Women’s Day luncheon on March 8th at the Black Knight Inn. The luncheon is being held from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $45 each.

“When we heard about Zainab’s achievements and her work, we just sat back and said, ‘Wow this woman is amazing.’ We say that the Ruby Award is for a woman in the community who inspires other women – Zainab definitely does that. She epitomizes someone that people look up to as an inspiration in our community to help women and girls,” said Sherri Smith of Soroptimist International, Red Deer branch.

Mohamoud’s dedication is widespread through the Red Deer community. She volunteers with a number of organizations, including the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance, the Global Enrichment Foundation and the Central Alberta Immigrant Women Association, to name a few.

She also manages a project that is fundraising to build a school in her former home of Somalia. Not only is she managing the project in Canada, but she will be traveling to Somalia, covering all of her own expenses, to help see the project through construction until completion.

The winner of this year’s Live Your Dream award will go to local single mother of two Duda, who is eager to graduate this year with a Bachelor of Education, Middle Years degree from the University of Alberta/Red Deer College partner program.

“The Live Your Dream Award is a financial award for a woman who is the head of her household, has dependants and who has been accepted into or is currently enrolled in a post-secondary educational program or training program. It can be used towards anything that she needs it for – tuition, kids, food, whatever,” said Smith.

“The majority of the winners of this are usually single moms that go through some trying times and this money helps them complete education or do something for their families, things like that.”

The final award recipient of the event is Olsen, 17, who will receive the Violet Richardson Award. This honour is presented to a girl between the ages of 14 and 17 who volunteers within her community and her school.

Olsen is a member of the Lacombe and District Recreation and Parks Board, president of her high school’s Rotary Interact Club and is a volunteer and strong supporter of Lacombe charity A Better World.

“She is just amazing. She and a couple of her friends started a dance program in the summer in 2013, where some girls who wouldn’t have been able to try it got to try to dance. In her school’s Rotary Interact Club, they do international project support as well as raising money for groups like the Heart and Stroke Foundation and A Better World,” Smith said.

The ladies will receive their awards amid an afternoon of celebrating women’s achievements. Keynote speaker Sean Liv, author of Ticket to Change will be joining guests to share her story of how she came to be the woman she is.

Tickets are available through the Soroptimist International of Central Alberta facebook page or by calling Sherri Smith at 403-391-7912.

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com

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