Lydia Francescutti wasn’t expecting to be named this year’s finalist at the Rotary Club of Langley Central Women Of Distinction event.
Francescutti was one of six unsung nominees in the running for the award to mark International Women’s Day by recognizing the efforts of unsung heroes.
It was presented Saturday at the Fort Langley Golf Course.
“I’m a little stunned,” Francescutti said.
“The other ladies are pretty fantastic and they have been doing it longer than I have.”
“The Rotary Club does so much for everybody, so it’s a great honour to be recognized by them,” Francescutti said.
Club vice-president Annette Borrows made the announcement, describing Francescutti as the ‘Seniors centre champion” for her volunteer work at the Brookswood senior centre.
Borrows said the slate of nominees have all devoted “countless, countless hours of their time and money” to making the community better.
“There are some really fantastic people who are making Langley thrive,” Borrows said.
Francescutti was recognized for 10 years of effort to revitalize the Brookswood centre, including creating a newsletter, event planning and working as volunteer coordinator, yoga director and meals on wheels.
Other nominees received plaques acknowledging their many contributions to the community.
Karen Long, founder and chair of Langley Volunteers was cited for her contributions to Aldergrove Festival Days, Aldergrove Christmas Light Up Parade, Mission Women’s transition home and Langley Ribfest.
Maria Hillmer, a Langley community volunteer for 20 years, has contributed to the Mexico Vivo dance group, Brookswood senior Centre fitness and Zuma classes and the Food and Friends program.
Sherry Baker a 25-year Rotarian has contributed to the Ishtar Transition Women’s Housing, Encompass Support services and the community response network against senior abuse.
Tami Logan has invested 30 years to “fostering an inclusive Langley community through supporting people with disabilities to obtain meaningful employment,” the Rotary profile noted.
Logan developed the Youth Works program for youth with disabilities.
Shannah Berg is creator of the first Breakfast Club in Langley. using her skills as a chef to create a nutritious menu plan and procedure manual that has been adopted by other schools.
It was the seventh annual Celebration of International Women’s Day Luncheon for women who have made valuable contributions to the Langley community and/or international organizations, and who demonstrate strong leadership, innovation and creativity.
This award is open to women of any age living in the greater Langley area, Langley City or Langley Township who have been a volunteer and not performed the services as part of the organization in which they work.
Keynote speaker was Lizzy Allen, the founder of “Addictive Comedy” which uses stand-up as a therapeutic tool “to smash the the stigma that surrounds addiction and mental health problems” in the words of Borrows’ introduction.