Tickets on sale for the 2019 Women of Distinction Awards
The 2019 Women of Distinction, and Woman of the Year, will be named at the Cape Coral Yacht Club next month at an event the public is invited to attend.
Women of Distinction program founder Missi Lastra said the idea of beginning the program stemmed back to 2016, although the inaugural event took place in April 2017.
“I was at an under-40 awards event and it was my first one here in Lee County. One of my friends was up for the award and she won it for a funeral director,” she explained.
Lastra was involved in an awards program on the East Coast, which was very different than this coast, in terms of the crowd. On this coast she said the awards highlighted regular people doing regular jobs while doing exceptional work.
The thoughts started as to why not do something that shows the unsung heroes, women in the community making their community a better place. Women, who roll up their sleeves and help people through work, community engagement and philanthropy work.
Lastra started looking for someone to run the awards program, which now a few years later continues to highlight those women in the community.
“To this day I am so proud of this program because it actually does bring out amazing women through the process that was put into place almost three years ago,” Lastra said.
The program will be held Friday, April 12, at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Ballroom.
This year’s finalists include Karla Avery, Nadege Borgat, Noelle Branning, Jazmin Clark, Dina Comer, Therese Everly, Amira Fox, Deborah Ford, Linda Gingerich, Amanda Goodlin, Jonette Kessack, Heather Mazurkiewicz, Diane Meyers, Megan O’Grady, Carol Polis, Mercedes Price, Sheena Reagan, Haythor Renza, Ruth Rodrigues, Robin Schwartz, Leigh Strand and Annette Warren.
The doors open at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by the event beginning at 7 p.m.
“It is an incredible gala event. We had about 175 people the last two years,” she said.
Drew Steele, from 92.5 Fox radio is the emcee and the keynote speaker is Leoma Lovegrove, a Woman of Distinction for the Creative Arts category last year.
Tickets are $60 a person and can be purchased by visiting www.ladiesleadingright.com, or by emailing Susan@239style.com.
A cash bar will be available and heavy h’orderves will be passed around throughout the night.
Lastra said each of the finalists will be recognized and the winners will be announced throughout the night. The Woman of the Year will be named at the end of the event.
Nominations began being accepted in November, with the cut off date of March 1. The names are redacted, as well as any identifying information on the form before they are given to the selection committee. The selection committee then separates the nominations into categories.
Lastra said the selection committee, comprised of seven people, goes through a ranking process, which presents the finalists.
There are six women selected for the six various categories. There also is a Humanitarian of Distinction Award and the Young Woman of Distinction Award, which is new.
“The six Women of Distinction and Humanitarian of Distinction will compete for the Woman of the Year,” she said.
Last year the Woman of the Year was Connie Ramos-Williams and the year prior was Lisa Barns.
The Women of Distinction Awards is a fundraiser for the Republican Women of Cape Coral.
The funds mainly go towards their veterans outreach program, as well as the Frances Keogh Second Chance Scholarship.