For the first time in the 16-year history of the event, there was a tie for one of the honours at the Quota International of Estevan/SaskPower Women of Today Awards.
Two Grade 12 students – Elusha Baird from Lampman School and Jacqueline Peeace from the Estevan Comprehensive School – shared the Shirley Orsted Memorial Award for Outstanding Young Woman of Today.
There was a tie in voting for the award, and it was decided that the two high school students should take home the honour.
Three other awards were handed out at the ceremony on April 23 at the Wylie-Mitchell Building. Daryl Story won the SaskPower Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Workplace, Lynn Tedford captured the Ida Petterson Memorial Award for Outstanding Entrepreneur, and Brenda Noble took home the SaskTel Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community.
Jacqueline Peeace and Elusha Baird were surprised that there was a tie for the Orsted award, but that didn't take away from the significance of the prize.
"It's great to see Quota recognizing young women in our society," Baird said.
Baird has been active in her school and in her community, thanks to her work as the SRC president at Lampman School, her efforts with the school's Students Against Drunk Drivers program, and her leadership with a 30-Hour Famine at the school.
"I like being a leader, and I like helping others achieve their dreams, as well as trying to achieve my own," Baird told Lifestyles.
The awards ceremony capped a memorable week for Baird. Late last week, she was accepted to the University of Calgary, where she'll be pursuing a commerce degree. She has already had a couple of notable business experiences, as she attended the Shad Valley Enrichment Program and the Shad Plus Program, both of which are in Ontario.
Peeace has thrived in music and academics, and has found many ways to be involved in her community, her school and her church.
"So many people have given so much to me to help me in my life, and I want to give back," said Peeace. "I enjoy helping people."
Peeace has been a yearbook editor, has been involved in drama productions at the school, has won both the Estevan Idol and Estevan Junior Idol singing contests, and is active with the local Relay for Life and in her church.
Despite all of her commitments, her average grades are above the 90 per cent mark.
Peeace will attend Ambrose Bible University in Calgary next year, and she hopes to eventually study business.
Daryl Story has been employed with the credit union system for more than 30 years, working at the Estevan/Spectra Credit Union, and then with Affinity Credit Union after the merger between Affinity and Spectra last year.
She has worked in several different capacities, and is now the commercial accounts manager.
"I think when you've worked for 31 years, people know you enjoy it, because you've been there that long," said Story. "But basically, it's the people … in the job (that I love). And we couldn't do it without our clients."
She also appreciates the opportunities to advance. Her first job at the credit union came as a teller.
"I have moved through about seven or eight different positions," said Story. "And that's the bonus with working at a business like … a credit union, because you go through different positions, and you don't have to leave to get something better."
Lynn Tedford was recognized for her success and longevity in the business world as the owner of South East Options Consulting.
"There are so many wonderful individuals in this room today, that it's quite an honour to win (this award)," said Tedford.
Running her own business is very time-consuming, and due to the nature of the company, somebody has to be on call around the clock, she said. While she dedicates a lot of time to her work, it is a rewarding job.
She has also worked hard to expand the services offered at the company.
Tedford said she enjoys the people that she works with, and the diverse nature of the clients who access Options' services.
"You never know who's going to come through the door," she said.
Tedford said she shares the award with her staff, because without them, she wouldn't have anything.
Brenda Noble said the community award is a big reward for her efforts to be involved. She dedicates countless hours to creating opportunities, and helping out events and organizations, on an annual basis.
She has been actively involved with the Estevan Exhibition Association, the Desk and Derrick Club, the Estevan Oilwives Club, the Souris Valley Trekkers, and many horse and equestrian events.
Her knowledge of the equine world has led to her being named the chair of the equestrian events for the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Estevan.
Noble's parents set a great example for community involvement, she said.
"It's just my nature, and my upbringing (to be involved)," said Noble. "My dad and mom have always been involved in the community."
Noble said she shares the award with all of the volunteers she works with on a regular basis.
Judges faced difficult decisions in all four categories, as there were a total of 21 nominations, including eight for the Orsted Award and seven for the SaskPower Award. There were three candidates for each of the Petterson Award and the SaskTel Award.
Hundreds of people packed the Wylie-Mitchell building for the awards luncheon. Not only did they see the presentation of four awards, but they heard a speech from former Macoun resident Dr. Holly Pedersen, who is now the director of the deaf and hard of hearing education program for the Department of Special Education at Minot State University.
Proceeds from the Women of Today Awards will be directed to the Envision Counselling and Support Centre, the Estevan Family Resource Centre, the Hearthstone Community Campaign, the Warm Welcome shelter program and the South East Cornerstone Public School Division and the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division.
The school divisions will use their money for the placement of FM sound systems in classrooms.