McKenna Hall was once again packed for the annual YF Wives Women of Distinction Awards Gala.  

This was the second year that the awards were hosted by the YF Wives, bringing together the community to celebrate some of the many distinguished women in our area.  

The evening opened with a few words from Tana Torkelson from Weyburn Credit Union, presenting sponsor, who noted that the awards are one of her favourite events.  

Tana Torkelson, VP Marketing, Weyburn Credit Union

“I know how hard women have to work to be successful in their careers, business and community,” she said. “I’m lucky to have become a leader in the credit union system where there is lots of support, role models and opportunities to grow and advance.” 

She also noted that the event is designed to lift women up and acknowledge each other.  

“We know how hard we all hustle, so encourage, support, empower and uplift each other.” 

Following her words, supper was served by members of the Weyburn Young Fellows and then guest speaker Jordan Szczecinski, who won the Community Service award at last year’s Gala and also recently received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal, took to the stage.  

Guest speaker Jordan Szczecinski

She began her speech by talking about how she got into community service at an early age but had the desire to get out of Weyburn and onto what she thought would be “bigger and better”. 

“I wanted to go and do big things,” she said. “I wanted to make a positive impact and be a force of change.” 

She noted, however, that once she left the community, and all the groups and organizations she was a part of, she felt a void that she wasn’t sure how to fill until she came back home. 

She added that, on average, women are more likely to volunteer than men but often take roles behind the scenes instead of decision-making roles. She also strongly encouraged women to get involved in their community through a number of different avenues and left everyone at the event with a challenge; meet someone new, volunteer an hour of your time and take a moment to brag about yourself and build your confidence. 

“It’s not that they (women) don’t have the confidence themselves,” she said. “It’s often that they don’t believe others will have confidence in them.” 

After Jordan’s speech, the awards began. 

The first award, the Weyburn Credit Union Workplace Excellence Award, went to Danielle Millar of the LB Liquor Store. Danielle is the manager in Weyburn and recently helped open LB’s second location and is responsible for much of the day-to-day operations. Danielle did not give a speech. 

Winner Danielle Millar

The second award was the YF Wives Community Service Award, which went to Jackie Wilson. Jackie founded Inclusion Weyburn, which started as a day camp and has expanded in many ways since.  

“This is a huge honour to me,” she said, “Because the people who nominated me are the people I admire so much and that is our board.” She added that the board was made up primarily of other women, those she hopes to be the next generation of community serving females.  

Winner Jackie Wilson

Other nominees in that category were Becky Grad, Fran Messer, Korryn Kubashek, Lindsay Manko-Bauche and Shannon Seitz.  

The next award was the Access Communications Exceptional Entrepreneur Award, which went to Lori McIntosh. Lori is the owner of Twine and Twig in Weyburn and takes great pride in supporting women entrepreneurs and featuring Canadian made products.  

“I don’t do what I do to be recognized,” she laughed in her speech. “Thank you to Weyburn and the community for supporting me and Twine and Twig. I am truly honoured.” 

Winner Lori McIntosh

Other nominees were Delea Hopfe and Kylie McGregor.  

The final award of the night was for the Weyburn Oilwomen Young Woman of Distinction Award. That award went to Arliss Sidloski, who, while studying Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, was part of a team that put the first Saskatchewan built satellite into space.  

She noted that she was so humbled to be nominated along with so many other deserving women and added that the community as a whole supports and creates many opportunities for youth in the City.  

“I want to explore the world but then I want to end up back in my hometown; Weyburn,” she said. “We (the youth) appreciate all of the support from community members who make this possible for us.” 

Winner Arliss Sidloski

The awards gala was followed by an “afterparty” featuring Rhinos Lighting and Sound. The event serves as the largest fundraising event for the YF Wives, who then donate the funds back to various clubs and organizations in the community.