EDITORIAL: Ethels Tibbits Awards success hangs on people
There was a lot to take in at the 20th annual Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Awards on Friday at Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport.
A new Wall of Fame, in recognition of the 90 previous Ethels winners since the fundraising luncheon’s inception in 1994, was unveiled.
A massive ice sculpture adorned the lobby outside the banquet hall, and the silent auction was dotted with dozens of donations from local businesses supporting Nova House’s battered women’s shelter.
But the event’s success truly begins and ends with the people.
Yes, the women nominated by the community for their tremendous contributions are a big part of the Ethels.
All of them are winners, really, but a handful earn extra praise by winning the prestigious Ethels trophy, and thereby joining the elite ranks of a real who’s who in the Richmond community.
But beyond the nominees, is the nominators who support them, and the people who take time out of their day to applaud them by attending the luncheon, that makes the Ethels so special every year.
The amazing multi-media presentation, banquet room decor, and the food and prizes, are really just the trimming. They’re lovely, to be sure, but not the backbone of the event.
In its early days, it was the bare-down basics that turned a modest annual event attended by a few dozen into a local institution that draws up to 400 people.
As one nominee suggested, the Ethels have become Richmond’s answer to the Oscars, a fitting tribute to the women who work tirelessly to make this community rich, and true to this city’s name.