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21st annual Ethel Tibbits Awards handed out

Mary Gazetas, a champion of local heritage and food security, and Corisande Percival-Smith, a former Richmond councillor with five decades of volunteering experience, were among the women honoured at the 21st annual Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Awards.

The awards, organized by The Richmond Review and held at the Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport, also served as a fundraiser for Chimo Community Services’ Nova House, a shelter for women and their children escaping domestic violence.

Mary Gazetas, whose countless achievements include saving Britannia Shipyard and co-founding  the Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project, was honoured with the Pioneer Award. Gazetas, who died in 2012, was also an author, artist and former City of Richmond employee.

Corisande Percival-Smith won the Community Volunteer Award. She has been serving the local community for more than five decades, including 21 years as a member of Richmond council during a period of major cultural change in the city. She is also a passionate and long-standing advocate of library services in Canada and is involved with many other local organizations including the Richmond Community Foundation and United Way.

Also nominated were Qi Chen, Leanne Chew, Susan Hutcheon, Amanda Bostik, Christine Campbell, Shyrose Nurmohamed, Mary Scott, and Christen Haines.

Longtime Richmond Chamber of Commerce manager of administration and events Carol Young was the Community Professional winner. Her passion for excellence often sees her investing time beyond the regular work day to ensure nothing is missed, and each gathering she oversees gets better every year. Also nominated were Ahlay Chin, Brenda Plant, Margie Hardy and Rosalie Walls.

Anne Gillrie-Carre won the Sports Award. A basketball coach for more than three decades, Gillrie-Carre has shared her passion for the sport with countless Richmond youth. Also nominated were Sports: Margaret Hobson, Michelle Weisbom and Alisa Carey.

Festival of Voice founder Elena Steele won the Arts Award. A classically-trained vocalist she runs Elena Steele Voice Studio.

Also nominated was Marina Szijarto.

Emma Partridge won the Youth Award.  An honour-roll student, elite athlete and outstanding leader, she is considered a difference maker at R.A. McMath. Janice Callangan and Muriel Faifman were also nominated.

Certified master dog trainer Shelley Smith won the Business Award. Yasmin Ali and Kathryn Lucarino were also nominated.

The Ethels are named after the pioneering editor of The Richmond Review, Ethel Tibbits, who was a firebrand in the community who made a name for herself in the editorials she penned, including her fearless criticism of the internment of those of Japanese heritage during the Second World War.

The Ethels has raised more than $280,000 for local women’s charities since 1994.

Click here for more photos from the event.

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