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Meet our Women of Distinction

Illinois Valley Living Magazine’s winners of the inaugural Women of Distinction Award have been selected. Ten women from the Illinois Valley will be honored at a luncheon where participants will enjoy a delicious afternoon meal while hearing the stories of these 10 women who have made a difference in the Illinois Valley.

Chosen by a panel of judges from McHenry County, Ill., the following women were selected from a large pool of nominations:

• Kim Abel of Mendota.

• Kathy Casstevens of Utica.

• Mary Ann Cernovich of Sheffield.

• Lisa Clinton of Cherry.

• Dawn Conerton of Magnolia.

• Pat Schou of Princeton.

• Nedda Simon of Princeton.

• Loretta Volker of Princeton.

• Judith Wilkins Wright of Tiskilwa.

• Teresa Zearing of Princeton.

Nominations were solicited from the entire Illinois Valley, and those who chose to nominate an area woman were asked to think of someone who has made a difference in the Illinois Valley and gone the extra mile to benefit others.

“I was so impressed with the number of nominations we received, and even more impressed with the qualifications of all the women who were nominated,” said Illinois Valley Living/Bureau County Republican Editor Terri Simon. “Wow! We are very fortunate in this area to have so many deserving women who we can proudly call Women of Distinction.” Simon will emcee the event.

The 10 aforementioned Women of Distinction will be honored at a luncheon set from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Deer Park Country Club in Oglesby. The event will begin with plenty of time for networking, a delicious lunch, an awards presentation and the opportunity to hear briefly from the 10 Women of Distinction winners.

Princeton resident and WGN talk show host, Kathy O’Malley of the “Kathy and Judy Show” is the keynote speaker. O’Malley, known for not just her popular radio show, but also for her volunteerism, her quick wit and her support of women and their battles, sacrifices and successes, will entertain the crowd.

Presenting sponsor of the Women of Distinction is Heartland Bank. Perry Memorial Hospital is the keynote sponsor. Major sponsors include St. Margaret’s Health, Illinois Valley Community College, Liberty Village, Flowers by Julia and Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

For tickets to the Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon on Oct. 17, fill out and mail the reservation form found on Page 2 or call the BCR at 815-875-4461 or stop by at the BCR office at 800 Ace Road, Princeton, for credit card/cash orders.

Tickets, which include lunch, the program and giveaways, are $28 per person. No refunds will be issued, and there is limited seating available. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this celebration of women in the Illinois Valley.

“I know everyone is going to really enjoy this event — men and women alike,” Simon said. “This is about honoring all women in the Illinois Valley who have and continue to make a difference. We are very lucky to have so many deserving women in this area. I hope to see you there, so you, too, can show your support of our Women of Distinction.”

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