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October 5-13 2018
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K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Waterloo Region

 

K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year took time tonight to recognize and pay tribute to some outstanding women in the community.

“We’re celebrating 40 years of honouring women in our community this year,” said Dave MacNeil, Executive Director of K-W Oktoberfest Inc. “That’s an incredible number of inspiring women, who have had a significant and positive impact on our Region.”

"We are proud of our partnership with the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year. It recognizes the amazing work and many contributions of the women of our community," said Mike Collins, General Manager of the Rogers Kitchener Radio Group.

At an awards ceremony at Bingemans Ballroom, with the assistance of our Masters of Ceremonies Susan Cook-Scheerer, host of daytime on Rogers TV, and Adele, Afternoons CHYM 96.7, the following women were recognized for their outstanding contributions to this community:

Arts & Culture (sponsored by CHYM 96.7/570 News/Country 106.7) recognizes women for enriching the culture of our community through creation or promotion of the arts on a volunteer or professional basis.

Alysha Brilla (Kitchener)
Alysha is a multi-faceted independent artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. An artist raised in Kitchener, her unique influences of jazz, reggae and world music led to her debut and 100% self-written and self-produced album. “In My Head” was released in the summer of 2013 and is being nominated for a Juno – Adult Contemporary Album of the Year 2014.

Community Service (sponsored by Rogers TV) recognizes women for generously volunteering time to programs and services that make our community a better place.

Shirley Levene (Waterloo)
Shirley has devoted her time over the last seven years to raising awareness and funds for local and national non-profit organizations in need. Through donations of framed artwork and sales of calendars featuring the artwork from her late son Leejay, who passed away in 2007, she has supported a countless number of organizations. Her work is done selflessly with no reward other than receiving a thank you at the end of each fundraising event, and knowing she has made a difference.

Entrepreneur (sponsored by TD Bank Group) recognizes women for initiating and/or administering an enterprise or business.

Stephanie Rozek (Waterloo) With her engineering background, strong communication skills, and a passion for diversity and equality, Stephanie is uniquely positioned as an entrepreneur in Waterloo Region. Stephanie owns local marketing firm AvocadoDog Marketing, and is the founder of Hackademy, a social venture promoting technology literacy to youth. She is passionate about creating diverse and inclusive communities, and works tirelessly to raise awareness of the challenges facing girls and women who wish to enter the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Group Achievement (sponsored by K-W Oktoberfest Inc.) recognizes achievements by a group of women that impact and/or improve our community or society.

Waterloo Region Special Education Choir
The Waterloo Region Special Education Choir began over 25 years ago. Today, some of the students in the growing choir don’t read or write, but they know the lyrics to more than 26 songs. They also know how to sign, which gives them one more language than many people in their audience.

Health & Wellness (sponsored by Perfect Balance Wellness Centre) recognizes women for promoting and helping others achieve and promote mental, physical or spiritual well-being in her career or community involvement.

Robin Bender (Waterloo)
Robin, President & Co-Founder of Mega Health at Work Inc., combines Psychology, Human Resources/Disability Prevention and front-line experience as a Victim Crisis Responder, to maximum impact. Addressing mental health and wellness in the workplace has been strategic throughout her career. The goal of her company is to erase the stigma of mental health within our community and workplaces. Robin takes action so that future mental health struggles are addressed properly and adequately taken care of before another life is lost.

Lifetime Achievement (sponsored by Michael Harris, MPP) recognizes women for being active in their community by sharing their heart, their time and their life experience.

Astrid Braun (Waterloo) A lifelong volunteer, Astrid has given thousands of hours to help dozens of organizations in our community. In her 18th year with the Christkindl Market, Astrid has been instrumental in its growth. The Christkindl Market attracts 40,000 visitors to Kitchener annually. Astrid also gives her time to the K-W Symphony (30 years) and many charities through Beta Sigma Phi (46 years). She also helped the Canadian Red Cross Society (20 years), and taught children with disabilities to ski at Track 3.

Professional (sponsored by Rogers Wireless) recognizes women for dedicating themselves to the pursuit of excellence in her chosen career.

Michele McBride-Roach
Michele is the “Ever Ready Battery” at the Kitchener Market. She is constantly on the go planning and implementing programs and special events for the market. A true professional in her field, she maintains that persona in every aspect of her professional and volunteer positions that she has held: Kitchener Public Library, City of Kitchener, the Kitchener Market, South Hill Designs (small business), YOUnique 3D Lashes (small business), Jeans n’ Scrubs, Ovarian cancer fundraiser, and St. Matthew’s Catholic Elementary School.

Sports & Recreation (sponsored by Rogers TV) recognizes women for actively participating, coaching or volunteering in sports or recreation.

Victoria Moors (Cambridge)
Victoria was the youngest Canadian on the 2012 Olympic team and one of the smallest athletes walking around inside the Olympic Park. But when it came to the gymnastics’ floor event, this 15 year old Cambridge girl was Canada’s giant at the Games. Victoria contributed to the historic 5th place for Canada at the Olympics, and Canada’s highest placing ever at a world’s championship.

Young Adult (14 to 25) (sponsored by Kitchener Fire Department) recognizes young women for leading by example and being a role model to her peers.

Sherry Bo-Yee Wong (Cambridge)
Sherry is an ardent student who demonstrates leadership in every aspect. As an aspiring dermatologist, she entered York University in September to study Biomedical Science as a Schulich Leader. She is also a karate black belt, RCM grade 10 pianist, and regional champion in badminton. Sherry enjoys writing on her blog and filming YouTube videos about fashion and cosmetics. Her sincere and bubbly personality has earned her many friends of different ages and nationalities.

Residents of the Region were encouraged to nominate their choice for Women of the Year and were invited to enjoy this evening with these distinguished women.

Watch for Rogers TV’s feature presentation of the 2014 K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards on Saturday, October 11th at 3pm, and Saturday, October 18th at 9pm – only on Rogers TV, Cable 20. Visit www.rogerstv.com for more info.

About Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a not-for-profit Bavarian festival founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers committed to contributing to the social and economic vitality of Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada twin cities with German heritage. Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival celebrates German heritage, food, music and festivities and is supported by more than 50 not-for-profit organizations. The festival is operated by eight year-round full-time staff, over 480 volunteers and 1,300 community and service club volunteers that stage the nine-day festival each October promoting a unique German cultural experience. As well as the economic boost the festival gives the local economy during the international festival, over $1.5 million is raised each year by the not-for-profit organizations associated with Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, one of the top three most recognized event brands in Canada.

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For additional information:

Dave MacNeil
Executive Director,
K-W Oktoberfest Inc.
519-570-4267 ext. 222

 

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