Influencing the Lakeland

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Women are a force to be reckoned with, and the Women of Influence (WOI) Cold Lake will prove it.

On March 10, Cold Lake women will be recognized for their contributions to the community whether the impact is on the business community, arts and culture, through volunteer work, or health and wellness.

Among these award categories is an Overall Woman of Influence Award, presented to a woman chosen out of the group of nominees by a judging committee.

The Women of Influence event is hosted to celebrate these women, among others in the community, and includes an awards presentation and a guest speaker. Patricia Coulter, a retired teacher, will speak about her life as an artist and her accomplishments along the way.

This year, nominations include Patty Cowden, who has been selected for the community and volunteerism award for her work in Cold Lake and across the Lakeland.

Cowden volunteers with the Cold Lake Teal Pumpkin Project, the Chris and Pat Cowden Fund, and other work throughout the community.

“I am so excited and so honoured to be nominated,” Cowden said. “It is a really great award, and it encourages women, especially working women, to work harder for their community.”

Leslie Price of the Cold Lake library was also chosen, but for the arts and culture award, which recognizes a woman who has demonstrated artistic achievements or contributions to the cultural community.

Price said through the library she has created a number of initiatives, including an art-lending program for local painters, and inviting the base band to perform at the library’s Christmas celebration.

“We also have local authors come in and give them the opportunity to show off their books,” Price said.

She heard about her nomination through email and said she was shocked that she had been nominated for an award.

“I was surprised, but very honoured that someone would have put my name forward.”

Price said it’s important to recognize not only women, but everyone for their contributions, to encourage them to continue the work they do for their community.

“People are encouraged when they are recognized for their efforts… I think lots of times people who are trying to go forward with a philosophy or an idea are very encouraged by someone taking note of it.”

She continued, “We have a lot of outstanding women in this community,” so it’s nice that they are acknowledged.

“It encourages us to keep doing it… It’s nice to know that some of the things you are doing people are appreciating it and recognizing that it is helping,” said Alexis Corbin, nominee for the Health and Wellness award.

Corbin owns and operates Little One Naturals, is a certified aroma therapist, volunteers through Hearts for Healthcare, and helps run a postpartum support group.

The health and wellness award celebrates the achievements of a woman who has contributed to the mental or physical health of Cold Lake, whether that be through volunteer work or employment.

“I was so surprised,” said Corbin, who said she had been having a bad day when she checked her email and discovered she had been nominated.

She added if she could, she would thank the person who submitted her name for the award.

“It is an honour to be nominated, it is not something I saw coming. It just feels good to know someone is thinking of you.”

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