Ethel Tibbits Awards raised more than $18,000

More than 360 people showed their support for CHIMO's Nova House and local women's charities by attending last Friday's 19th annual Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Awards.

The luncheon at the Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel saw 43 women acknowledged for their contributions to the community in five categories: sports, arts, youth, community and business.

Richmond Review publisher Mary Kemmis, who was the master of ceremonies for the March 9 luncheon, credited the local community and Richmond businesses with once again showing their support for a worthy cause.

"The Richmond Review is proud of our long history in our community which goes above and beyond just reporting the news. In our 80 years we believe we have become part of the social fabric of the community," she said.

"We want to congratulate all the nominees and winners for making Richmond the wonderful place it is to live, work and play."

The Ethels, named in honour of Ethel Tibbits, who was the editor and publisher of The Richmond Review back in the 1930s, is held each year during International Women's Week.

The bulk of the proceeds from the event support Nova House, a shelter for women and their children escaping domestic violence. Proceeds also support the Richmond Women's Resource Centre and the Ethel Tibbits Scholarship Fund.

Olive Bassett and Jennifer Larsen were acknowledged for their decades of volunteer work in the community with the Pioneer award and a standing ovation.

The winners were also named in five categories, with Richmond East MLA Linda Reid winning in the community category for her more than two decades of work as a political and community leader.

"I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Linda has touched so many lives and is a remarkable community leader, as well as an inspiration to women," said her nominator.

Winning in the sports category was Denise Coutts.

While her health concerns have proven to be an incredible challenge, Coutts continues to overcome them and devotes her energy towards empowering others with her passion and love of sport.

In the youth category, Maggie Kong came away as the winner.

"She is an avid volunteer, leader and a true role model for the youth of today," one person wrote of Kong, who is chair of Financial Literacy for Youth and who co-chaired Zenith in Action.

Tiffany Kirk, a student at UBC who runs her own physical fitness company Four Shapes Training, was selected in the business category.

A former competitive dancer, Kirk gives presentations in local schools, showing young girls they can be any shape they want through regular fitness and healthy eating.

Adrienne Moore's decades of work championing the arts earned her the win in the arts category.

A retired teacher who realized the power of arts to inspire while in working in Northern Ireland, she developed arts programs for children with special needs.

The Ethels has raised more than $200,000 for local women's charities, including primary beneficiary Nova House, a shelter for women and their children escaping domestic violence.

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