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052318-blm-loc-1distinction

Alicia Lenard, development director at YouthBuild McLean County, left, speaks with Di Ann Sanchez, a nationally known human resources professional, on May 22, 2018, during the 29th annual Women of Distinction Awards Banquet at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Normal. Nominees for the 30th annual Women of Distinction awards, which will be presented at 6:30 p.m. June 25 at the Marriott, were announced this week.

BLOOMINGTON — A McLean County spring tradition honoring women while raising awareness of YWCA McLean County services is undergoing a couple of changes this year.

But the core purpose of the Women of Distinction Awards Banquet remains the same: recognizing women who work or live in McLean County.

The 30th annual banquet will be June 25 at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal, with a social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the event at 6:30 p.m. Last year, more than 500 people attended.

Women of Distinction traditionally has been a May event.

"We rescheduled it from its traditional May time frame to allow more time between our signature (Circle of Women) fundraiser in February and Women of Distinction," said Christy Germanis, YWCA director of marketing and public relations.

In addition, this year's event will not have the traditional guest speaker. For example, last year's guest speaker was Di Ann Sanchez, a human resources professional recognized for her efforts to promote diversity the workforce.

"We are making a concerted effort to shorten the program" while focusing on the honorees, Germanis said Friday. "We'll see how the guests like it."

YWCA is accepting nominations for Women of Distinction in the following categories: arts and entertainment; business; education; professions; social service; STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); volunteer service and young professional.

WINGS applications also are being accepted. WINGS scholarships are awarded annually to women to improve their skills to help them to grow professionally.

Applications for Women of Distinction nominations and WINGS scholarships are available at www.ywcamclean.org/womenofdistinction. They are due by noon May 22.

A panel of judges will choose one woman in each category to receive the award but all nominees will be recognized during the banquet, as will WINGS recipients.

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Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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