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Women of Distinction named

The YWCA celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Women of Distinction event on October 23 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The event highlights and celebrates the leadership of women in the Duluth area.

Women of Distinction
Women from the YWCA Young Mothers Housing Program shared stories. From left, Paige Write, Melissa Hellerud-Storie, case manager, and Jessica Mullen holding her daughter Lilyana, 2 ½.

The YWCA celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Women of Distinction event on October 23 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The event highlights and celebrates the leadership of women in the Duluth area.

This year's honorees include Ann Busche of St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services (who is also a Budgeteer columnist keeping the public informed on issues relating to health), Mary Lu Larsen of CHUM and Tina Olson of Mending the Sacred Hoop. Kate Horvath of the Duluth Playhouse was named Emerging Leader.

During the Women of Distinction luncheon, two young women who have used the YWCA-supported Spirit Valley Young Mothers Housing Program shared their stories of how the YWCA program helped them to achieve their goals to become self-sufficient, while providing

parenting and money management classes as well as advocacy and mentoring. Both told of their struggles with poverty and raising children. "I always feared that if I made the wrong move they wouldn't let me keep my baby," Jessica Mullen told the crowd at the DECC. While Sept. 11 may be a meaningful date for many, Sept. 11, 2013 is especially meaningful to Mullen. It's the date she and her daughter were "finally no longer a part of the foster care system."

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