The May Court Club of Chatham is looking for a few good women. Well, excellent ones, to be exact.
The club’s Women in Excellence awards return this spring, and club members ask citizens to nominate women for six different categories: Arts & Culture; Business & Professions; Community & Volunteerism; Education & Training; Health, Science & Technology; and Young Woman of Excellence.
Nominees must have lived or worked in Chatham-Kent, must still be alive and able to attend the awards dinner, and must not currently hold an elected public political office position.
The dinner takes place May 29 at the Bradley Centre.
May Court member Penny McGregor said the club took over the Women in Excellence Awards after the YMCA stopped doing it.
“The YMCA used to do this in Chatham, as they have in many communities. They dropped it about 12 years ago. They just didn’t have the volunteers to do it,” she said. “We went to the Y saying we’d like to pick this up. They were delighted that we would do it.”
The club holds the awards every two years, and McGregor said they are well received.
“It’s a time to honour women and make people aware there are all these wonderful things going on in C-K and wonderful people doing them.”
Janine Griffore, a 2018 award winner for education, said the awards are an excellent means of recognition for C-K women.
“I was very honoured that May Court recognized the efforts in education,” Griffore said. “Educators influence a lot of kids on their futures.”
Griffore, a native of Grande Pointe who went to high school in Pain Court, began her career in education as a secondary school teacher, but climbed the ladder.
She became principal at École secondaire de Pain Court, before moving on to serve as a curriculum consultant, then a superintendent and later director of education with Conseil scolaire catholique Providence. In 2012, she took the role of assistant deputy minister for the French language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division for the Ministry of Education before retiring in 2016.
May Court member Shirley Loyer said those interested in nominating someone for the Women in Excellence Awards, or who just want more information, can visit the club’s website for more details.
“It’s very easy to download (a nomination form) and send in,” she said.
A committee selects the honouree in each category, but Loyer stressed May Court members don’t do the nominating.
“It’s up to the community,” she said.
McGregor said nominations close in mid-March.
The May Court Club has been part of Chatham for 85 years. The organization raises funds for families and children’s programs.