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Nominations for ‘Women of Distinction’ sought

February 3, 2017
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A new award aims to recognize women throughout Lee County for giving back to the community in their field of expertise through their time, talent and efforts.

The Republican Women of Cape Coral Federated's Ladies Leading Right recently launched the nomination process for its first-ever Women of Distinction awards. The annual program aims to honor and celebrate local women of distinction, according to the club's recording secretary, Pati Smith.

"I think it is so important for us to recognize each other and empower each other and inspire each other," she said.

Any Lee County resident who exhibits leadership, teamwork, integrity, compassion and dedication to her community in her field of expertise is eligible for nomination. Individuals may self-nominate.

"Any women in Lee County is eligible," Smith said.

She explained that local women who have been honored in the past through other various programs throughout Lee County may be nominated, but the program is also for the not-so-obvious woman.

"It's also for women who do so much to improve our communities and do so without recognition," Smith said, pointing to the woman who brings her sick neighbor soup. "Women like that who do not get recognized regularly."

The nominees will fall into one of nine categories, including: Charitable/Community Steward; Volunteer; Creative Artist, Media Person or Entertainer; High School/College Student; First Responder; Business Woman; Educator; Health Care Professional; and Political/Elected Leader.

"We like to think that we covered them all," she said.

The nomination form and information can be found online.

"The application form is pretty straight forward and simple," Smith said.

"What are they doing in their neighborhoods or communities at this point to help us flourish?" she asked. "It's about what they are doing to improve their communities or Lee County."

Nominations must be returned by Feb. 28.

A seven-person selection committee will choose leaders in six of the nine categories.

"We have tried very very hard to make the selection process as objective as possible," Smith said, adding that the nominees' names will be redacted on the forms and replaced with assigned numbers.

A weighted rating system will also be used.

Another committee will pick the Woman of Distinction, the overall honoree.

The winners will be honored at the inaugural Women of Distinction gala, which is scheduled for April 7 at 6 p.m. at the Lake Kennedy Center. There will be a keynote speaker, entertainment and more.

Tickets to the gala are $50 each and can be purchased online.

"This came from the Republican Women of Cape Coral Federated, but it is about all of the women in Lee County, regardless of party affiliation," Smith said.

"We want to recognize any woman who is doing her best to improve things for our community," she added.

The annual awards will serve as a fundraiser for the club, going toward its Caring for America program. The proceeds will support a scholarship program, assist with the building of a home for a local disabled veteran and help Wolfhounds Legacy, which matches rescue dogs with veterans.

To nominate a women, or buy gala tickets, visit:

Tickets are also available by contacting 307-870-7250 or

The Lake Kennedy Center is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.



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