Altrusa Club of Elgin honors Woman of the Year

  • Gwen Gage, seated, center, is honored as the 70th annual Woman of the Year. Former award recipients in attendance were also acknowledged with a stemmed rose including: seated, from left, Mary Camacho and Betty Brown; and back row, Sandy Ziros, Marge Haefliger, Nancy Schueneman, Murna Hansemann, Phyllis Blizzard, Karen Fox and Dr. Christine Mueller.

    Gwen Gage, seated, center, is honored as the 70th annual Woman of the Year. Former award recipients in attendance were also acknowledged with a stemmed rose including: seated, from left, Mary Camacho and Betty Brown; and back row, Sandy Ziros, Marge Haefliger, Nancy Schueneman, Murna Hansemann, Phyllis Blizzard, Karen Fox and Dr. Christine Mueller. Courtesy of Pat Szpekowski

 
Submitted by Pat Szpekowski
Updated 7/2/2019 6:57 PM

Altrusa International Club of Elgin recently honored Gwen Gage of Elgin as its 70th annual Altrusa Woman of the Year recipient.

More than 100 guests joined Gage to celebrate her recognition at the Villa Olivia in Bartlett, including Gage's family members, friends, colleagues, and Elgin Altrusa Club members.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Proclamations were read from the office of Elgin Mayor David Kaptain and the office of state Rep. Anna Moeller.

With Gage's leadership and involvement with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Elgin Symphony League, musical tributes were a part of the joyous evening, including solo presentations by Solange Sior of Fox Valley Lyrical Productions and Rise Jones of Hamilton Wings; and a violin solo by Wendy Evans, accompanied by Scott Metlicka on the piano.

"We were very proud to honor Gwen for this distinctive recognition," said Clare Ollayos, Altrusa Woman of the Year committee chairwoman, "and so pleased at the number of past recipients who were able to join us in the celebration. All of these dynamic women have made a tremendous difference in our community."

Former Altrusa Woman of the Year recipients in attendance were acknowledged with a stemmed rose: Betty Brown (1975), Mary Camacho (1984), Phyllis Blizzard (1986), Murna Hansemann (1996), Nancy Schueneman (2002), Marge Haefliger (2004), Karen Fox (2005), Dr. Christine Mueller (2014), and Sandy Ziros (2017).

Altrusa Woman of the Year acknowledges women in the greater Elgin area community who embody the Altrusa key qualitites of: Amity, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Unity, Service and Achievement. Women of the community, who are not a member of the Elgin Altrusa Club are nominated by an Elgin Altrusa Club member.

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The first Altrusa Woman of the Year was the late Harriet Armstrong of Elgin in 1950.

The Altrusa Woman of the Year committee members are chairwoman Dr. Clare Ollayos, Lois Myers-Bauer, Kathryn Canny, Mary Rees Freeman, Nancy Gerner, Murna Hansemann, Nancy Schueneman, Pat Szpekowski, and Joanna Wester.

The Elgin club, founded in 1917, is part of an international organization. In May, 2015, the club received an award from the Elgin Heritage Commission for its 50-plus years of service as a civic organization promoting literacy, community health, and education in the community.

For more information about the Altrusa International Club of Elgin, contact president Kathryn Canny at pscceo@aol.com.

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