CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Progressive Women’s Association (PWA) held its first “Women of Distinction Lunch Ceremony” since the beginning of the pandemic at the PWA of Harrison County Uptown Event Center on Thursday afternoon.
Ten “All American” women of different backgrounds were recognized as honorees for the volunteerism they complete within their work and community. This program has been ongoing for almost five years, but with the pandemic, the women held off on recognizing their 2020 honorees. The PWA wanted to try kicking these lunch ceremonies back off by celebrating these 2020 honorees on Thursday.
The women listed below were honored and received their awards at the lunch ceremony:
- Paula Flint
- Carrie Hill
- Angie Knight
- Cheryl Mehaulic
- Mickey Petitto
- Rita Robinson
- Becky Sands
- Kathie Titus
- Annette Wright
In order to be nominated for the “Women of Distinction Award,” individuals submit the women nominations to the PWA Board of Directors, where they then vote on who would receive the awards. Three ceremonies are held a year. With February being Black History Month, they decided to hold the lunch ceremony for African American women being recognized in February. June/July is for All American women since it is between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The Italian American women are to be honored in October during the Italian-American Heritage month.
This ceremony was started because the women wanted to do something in the community. They had the PWA facility, so they tried to have programs that the community could be a part of. They feel part of their mission is to honor the women who are doing their part.
Rosalyn Queen, past president of the PWA and current chairman for Women of Distinction, talked about the women who were being honored at the ceremony.
“You wouldn’t go out and volunteer at a daycare center, or take care of an individual who has Alzheimer’s, or do those types of things if you didn’t have it in your heart,” Queen said. “And that’s what these women, these 10 women have hearts as big as their bodies.”
12 News also spoke with Mickey Petitto, a 2022 Women of Distinction honoree, to see how she was feeling about receiving the award.
“I really think that it’s very nice that the Progressive Women Association does things like this to recognize people in the community that don’t get recognized on an ongoing basis, but I am very proud and happy to accept it,” Petitto said.
Keynote Speaker, Marla Ferree, had a conversation with the audience in attendance. She mentioned the three core values of the PWA before saying, “when we are born, we have a mission to leave the world better than when we found it. And all these ladies here today.. left the world better than when they found it.”
Presentations of awards were handed out by the Mayor and a Davis Funeral Home representative. Each woman honoree that attended the lunch gave a speech in thanks for receiving the award.
PWA Director Elinda Carson and her daughter, Heather Conley, have helped plan and organize the All American lunch ceremony. The next ceremony will be held in October for the Italian-American Women of Distinction lunch ceremony.
You can find more information about the Progressive Women’s Association here.