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Seven Sudbury women recognized leading up to annual gala

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Seven Sudbury-area women have been recognized during the annual Women of Distinction awards.

The 16th annual awards acknowledge women in business and the community who make a difference.

“It’s incredibly inspiring for people to hear about women in our community, what they are doing, how they are making a difference, how they are opening doors for other women,” said Catherine Poulton, chair of the Women of Distinction Awards.

The women will be recognized during a gala in January. The proceeds will support YWCA programs such as Power of Being a Girl and Boys For Real.

Two new categories this year include Young Woman of Distinction, which recognizes a woman under age 30. Another new category is a posthumous award, which is being given to Jennifer Hawkins.

A wife and mother of two, Hawkins passed away a year and a half ago at age 39. She was the former clinical director at Finlandia Village and was responsible for 170 personal support workers and RPNs.

Angela Patrick, her former colleague, nominated Hawkins for the award. Patrick said she was a role model who cared about people.

“For seniors and providing quality care at the village, there was so many characteristics of Jennifer that it’s hard to put her into one category,” Patrick said.

“She’s truly missed and it’s a definite hole in our hearts.”

The other recipients include Kyelle Byne, Adebola Adefioye, Adekelu Ogunleye, Jackie Balleny, Paula Coulson and Sonia Peczeniuk.

Tickets can be purchased online. The event will be held Jan. 28 at the Steelworkers Hall.

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