Cheryl Berry was named the Golden Women’s Resource Centre’s (WRC) 2021 Woman of the Year on March 8, International Women’s Day.
The Women’s Resource Centre received over 120 nominations for Woman of the Year, with the award being decided in a draw in order to ensure that everyone nominated had a fair shot, even those who aren’t as visible in the community.
“It was such a great process to go through all the nominations because people really gave each one a lot of thought,” said Linley McLean, executive director at the WRC.
“Golden is so grateful for the women in this community and wanted to celebrate and recognize these people in our lives, especially over the last year.”
Typically, Woman of the Year is awarded at the annual Starlight Soirée, which acts as the biggest fundraiser for the WRC of the year.
This year, the WRC had to pivot their fundraising, running a raffle instead, with 30 prizes awarded over the course of the month of March.
According to McLean, the raffle has been well received so far, selling 500 raffle tickets and raising $7,690 so far, with the fundraiser still ongoing.
McLean says calling the winners and being able to deliver the good news is often the highlight of her day.
“It’s been so much fun getting to call people and give these prizes away,” said McLean.
She also said support from the community has helped them get through a challenging year, with donations from their usual Starlight Soirée sponsors and their partnership with the Rotary Bingo helping them.
McLean says that the resources provided by the WRC have been invaluable during the pandemic, with studies showing that COVID-19 has exacerbated gender-based violence.
She added the continued financial support can help the WRC continue the work they do in the community, but she also encourages people to do their own research and look into gender-based violence and what we can all do to help create or influence change.
She says simply raising awareness is a huge goal of the WRC, in order to start a conversation and hopefully put an end to gender based violence.
People are welcome to reach out the WRC for resources if they believe they are in an abusive situation, or if they are worried someone they know is in an abusive situation and are looking for ways to help.
They can be reached through their Facebook page or by calling 250- -344-5317.