WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and in the Port City the YWCA Lower Cape Fear hosted the 33rd annual Women of Achievement Awards.
The event celebrates outstanding contributions and achievements of women and young leaders in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties.
Since 1985, the organization has honored more than 400 women of achievement.
“It’s such an important day for people to celebrate because a lot of times the work that women do is overshadowed and it’s not recognized and we want to take time to honor everyone that’s working so hard in our area,” YWCA Lower Cape Fear CEO Charisse Hart said.
Adult recipients and their respective categories are: Jennifer Kraner, Arts Award; Kimberly Bankston, Business Award; Dr. Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock, Education Award; Bonnie Monteleone, Environmental Award; Dr. Heather Davis, Health and Wellness Award; Sonali Batish, Public Service Award; Ashanti Gibbs, Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero Award; Rhonda Bullard-Dutton, Social Justice & Community Empowerment Award; Lauren Henderson, Trailblazer Award and Rebecca Clark, Volunteer Award. A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented for the first time since 2012 to The Honorable Robin Wicks Robinson.
High school seniors were recognized in the Young Leader Category. Young Leader recipients and their respective schools are: Brianna Cunliffe, Laney High School; Mary Grayson Koonce, South Columbus High School; and Wallace Robinson, New Hanover High School. Each Young Leader recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship for their outstanding efforts in academics and volunteerism.
Hart added the YWCA is always looking for volunteers to share their expertise and energy to give back to the community.