Left to right: Vicky Dinges of Allstate Insurance Company; Karen Singer, CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore; and Susan Oleari of BMO Wealth Management. Ms. Dinges and Ms. Oleari served as honorary co-chairs of the event.Photo by Genie Lemieux, Evanston Photographic Studios

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More than 600 people attended YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s YWomen 10th Anniversary Celebration in Deerfield on Nov. 10. The evening celebrated the collective power of women to change the world, spotlighted all 30 YWomen honorees from the past decade, and reflected on 80 years of YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

“In honor of the 10th anniversary of YWomen, we switched to a larger venue to accommodate as many people as possible, including the men who stand with us and support the mission of YWCA.”

YWCA Evanston/North Shore launched its YWomen Leadership Awards in 2008 to recognize women making an impact in women’s empowerment, racial justice, and social change.

“YWCA Evanston/North Shore began as a safe place for rural women to stay while working in the area,” said Ms. Singer. “Since then, we have grown in leaps and bounds to improve the lives of women and families from all angles, including our domestic violence and women’s empowerment services, racial justice work, and Flying Fish aquatics program.”

YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s YWomen honorees from the past decade are Julie Smolyansky, Evonda Thomas-Smith, Amita Lonial (2016); Delores Holmes, Sunny Fischer, Blair Brettschneider (2015); Mary Morten, Gail Vierneisel, Kourtney Cockrell, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center (2014); Alaka Wall, Mercedes Fernandez, Rohina Malik, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (2013); Alice Tregay, Kaethe Morris Hoffer, Elizabeth Stanton, LINKS – North Shore Youth Health Service (2013); Ahlam A. Mahmoud, Ann Feldman, Precious Wright, Project Kesher (21011); Bernice Weissbourd, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Courtney C. Wright, Evanston Women’s History Project (2010); Dorothy Roberts, Pushpika Freitas, Ebony Joy, Junior League of Evanston-North Shore (2009); and Fay Clayton, Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Aracely Canchola, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. – Delta Chi Omega Chapter (2008).

 The event raised more than $300,000 to support YWCA’s work to eliminate racism and empower women.