Meet the YWCA Muskoka 2019 Women of Distinction



Submitted by YWCA Muskoka

Main image: The 2019 YWCA Women of Distinction recipients (from left) Kim Aitken, Patti Hanrath, J’aime Payne, Kalleen Turchet, Diane Litchfield, Marie Lloyd, Darlene Poirier, and Sandra Winspear (supplied)

Family, friends and community members and supporters of YWCA Muskoka celebrated as eight women were presented with YWCA Women of Distinction Awards on Friday night at Mark O’Meara in Huntsville. YWCA Muskoka’s largest fundraiser for local programs, the Women of Distinction Awards Gala is a signature event held by YWCA’s across Canada and presented locally by YWCA Muskoka, and is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards in Canada for women.

Recipients were selected from a group of fourteen outstanding nominees from across Muskoka.

The 2019 YWCA Muskoka Women of Distinction award recipients are:

J’aime Payne – Arts, Culture and Creativity

Kalleen Turchet – Young Woman of Distinction

Kim Aitken – Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Darlene Poirier – Community Development and Social Activism

Marie Lloyd – Health, Sports and Wellness

Diane Litchfield – Transformational Award

Patti Hanrath– Mentorship

Sandra Winspear – Lifetime Achievement

Read the recipient bios here (PDF).

The keynote address was delivered by “Peaches” (a well-known personality played by Robin Clipsham), who had the audience roaring with laughter with her bold commentary about politics, women’s issues and other timely topics. In addition, the evening was emceed with enthusiasm by entrepreneur and past Woman of Distinction, Fyonna Vanderwerf.

Executive Director of YWCA Muskoka, Hannah Lin, gave a heartfelt thank you to the event sponsors and volunteers. In particular: TD Bank Group, My Muskoka Remax, RBC, Parry Sound-Muskoka Community Network, Hutcheson Reynolds & Caswell Insurance, Muskoka Chrysler, YourTV Cogeco, TELUS, Moose FM, Cedar Laine Restoration, Patricia Wilkinson Sense & Serenity, and all the local businesses and individuals who donated to the silent auction. Arvina Bennett was the lucky winner of an iPhone XR donated by Telus. Proceeds from the Women of Distinction Gala in Muskoka fund programs for women and youth in Muskoka throughout the year.

YWCA Muskoka champions positive change for women and girls through education, leadership and advocacy. If you would like to support women and youth through YWCA Muskoka, please visit to make a donation.

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1 Comment

  1. Arvina Bennett on

    Thank you to the YWCA for recognizing Amazing Women who live, work and Volunteer giving so much of themselves to make Muskoka a wonderful place to live.

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